2cups(400g) active sourdough starter,fed in last 12 hours
1 ¼cups(300g) warm water(if your starter is thick, use up to 1/4 cup more)
5 ½ to 6cups(687.5-750g) flour*
optional ingredients for bagel dough**
1tablespoon(14.4) baking soda
1 tablespoon(14.8g) water
Toppings of choice:sesame or poppy seeds, dried onion flakes(rehydrated 10 minutes), cheese, Everything Bagel, etc.
Mix starter, water, oil, flour, and salt together and then let rest for 10 minutes.
Knead the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook on low speed for about 4 minutes, or by hand 6-8 minutes. The dough will be very stiff.
Transfer to a greased large bowl and let rise for 4 hours. Fold the dough over on itself 2 times (or try to, sometimes I don't always remember both folds and it's okay).
Pour out the dough onto a floured surface (a lightly floured tea-towel works great), knead a couple of times, flatten and cut into 12-18 equal pieces (about 5 oz. each).
Shape the bagels by making each piece into a ball and using your thumb to punch a hole through the middle of the ball, stretching to make the center hole. Set the shaped bagels on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet (12 will fit on one large sheet, if making 18, use two smaller sheets) - they are known for sticking, so this will make removing them much easier.
Cover the shaped bagels with a damp towel (the one used for cutting works great) and let sit for about an hour.
Fill a large 12-inch skillet 1/2 to 3/4 full with water and add the tablespoon of soda. Bring it to a boil. Start the oven preheating to 450 degrees at this time.
When the water is boiling, drop as many bagels as will fit, one at a time, into the boiling water. Boil for 1 minute, turning at the halfway mark. Use a slotted spoon to place the bagels back on the baking sheet. Continue until all the bagels have been boiled.
Brush the bagels with an egg glaze (or milk) at this point if you wish, and top with your desired toppings.
Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, alternating pans at the halfway point if needed. Cool on a rack.
*I use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose with my whole wheat starter. Bread flour and white whole wheat also work well.**In addition to toppings, you can add flavors to the dough. Ideas to add to bagel dough include:
1-2 teaspoons onion powder and/or dried flakes for onion bagels.
1/2 cup grated cheese for cheese bagels (top with cheese, too).
2-3 teaspoons dried herbs.
1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins + 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon.
***You can also glaze with whole milk or cream instead of egg+water. The glazes create the shiny bagel top and helps any toppings to stick.