Via: Jenny Zarins
Pour 100ml of the water into a small bowl, crumble in the yeast and sprinkle over the sugar. Leave for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve.
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeasted water. Pour in the remaining water and then mix to form a firm, moist dough.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, which will take about 10 minutes. As you knead the dough, feel for its texture. You need it to be quite stiff and firm. If it’s too moist, gradually knead in some more flour.
Wipe the inside of a bowl with some olive oil, then roll your dough around the inside of the bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, which will take about 1 hour.
Knock back the dough, then leave to rest again for 10 minutes.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and return it to a lightly floured work surface. Cut into 8 equal-sized pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Poke a floured finger into and through the centre of each one to form a ring.
Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
Bring a large, wide pan of water to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and then add the honey. Use a slotted spoon to lower the bagels carefully into the honeyed water, 2 or 3 at a time.
Boil each batch of bagels on one side until they rise to the surface and puff up, then turn each one over and remove them once they rise to the surface again.
As you remove the bagels, let them drain well. If you are coating them in seeds, this is the time to do it. Put the seeds in a shallow bowl and dip the top of each bagel lightly into seeds.
Return the drained bagels to the lightly oiled baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning once, or until golden and shiny. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Bagels are at their best within 2 or 3 days of baking, when fresh. They do freeze well. Slicing into two half rings before freezing is recommended.