The bagel is ingenious: handy shape, complex texture, versatile vehicle. Plus they really aren't that complicated to make at home. This recipe is adapted from Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.

1-1/2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Mix the sugar and one cupe of the water in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar-water mixture. Leave for about five minutes. In a large bow, sift together the flour and the salt. Make a well in the flour and pour in the dissolved yeast. Add the remaining water and mix in the flour. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Add flour as much as possible to make a stiff dough. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rest about 10 minutes. Cut the dough into six equal pieces. Shape into a ball; then push your finger through the center of the ball to make a ring. Twirl the ring of dough to stretch gently. Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet and let rise again for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pan of water to boil. Lower bagels into water and cook a few at a time for about 1 minute (until they rise), cooking some on each side. Remove, drain and transfer to lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees until golden; cool on wire rack.

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