Homemade Bagels

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Bagels are king in our house. Far more appreciated—and eaten—than doughnuts and gooey pastries. This is an adapted recipe, a melding of one from Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook and the one included with my bread maker. Yes, I used the bread maker for the kneading, so this recipe is geared toward placing the ingredients in that, but you could surely make them without one.

Homemade Bagels

1 1/4 cups warm milk

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg yolk

4 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Melted butter, for brushing on tops

Toppings such as cinnamon sugar, cheese slices (I used cheddar, colby/jack, and pepper jack), poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion bits, if desired

Place all ingredients except melted butter and toppings in machine in order listed, making a well in the flour for the yeast. Let the machine knead the dough one time (about 10 minutes), then turn off machine and let dough rise 20 minutes in the machine.

On floured surface, divide dough into 12 circles. Push your thumb through center of each circle to make the hole, and stretch to form bagel shape. Place circles on a well-greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In nonaluminum pan, slightly boil two inches of water. Slowly submerge three or four bagels at a time into the water. Cook for about 30 seconds on one side then flip and cook about 30 seconds on the other. Carefully remove bagels with slotted spoon and place on wire racks to let excess water drip off.

Place bagels back onto well-greased baking sheet. Brush tops with butter then add toppings, if desired. Bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Makes 12 medium