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Combine yeast and 1/2 c warm water in measuring cup, stirring with a fork until dissolved. Combine 2 c flour, salt, and sugar in bowl. Add dissolved yeast and remaining 1 c of warm water. Beat vigorously with whisk or spoon for 2 minutes. Gradually add enough of remaining flour, 1/4 c at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn out of bowl. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding as little flour as necessary, about 8-10 minutes. (dont skimp on the kneading!) Place dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, put in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (45-60 minutes. Watch carefully.) Punch down dough and divide into 12 equal portions (about 3-4 oz each. Weigh dough on a kitchen scale for accuracy and even size.) Form into smooth balls, gently pulling sides of dough down and tucking ends underneath. Place on floured surface. Let rest 10 minutes. Using a finger or wooden spoon handle, punch a hole in the center of each piece and twirl or stretch into a bagel shape. Cover with a towel and let rest 20-30 minutes. Bring to a boil 6 cups of water, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp salt in a large shallow pan. Gently drop 3 or 4 bagels at a time into the simmering water. Poach first side 2 minutes, turn to cook other side 2 minutes. Remove bagels from water with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to cool. Over the sink, brush each bagel with egg white wash (1 egg white mixed with 1 Tbsp water). You may now sprinkle bagel with salt, poppy seeds, minced garlic or onion, sesame seeds, whatever suits your fancy. Place bagels on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. If you like your crust crispy rather than chewy, bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then brush on the egg wash and sprinkle with desired topping and return bagels to oven for 20 minutes more. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. * The Polka Dot Palace BBS 1-201-822-3627. Posted by FAYLEN Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #705 by Lisa Clarke
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