[Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; 16°46.63'S / 179°20.07'E]
We spent cyclone season of 2010-2011 in Fiji; our home base was Nakama Creek, Savusavu, Vanua Levu. There were only a handful of boats over seasoning on Vanua Levu, and we had many occasions to have small gatherings - for holidays or such - centered around food including a lovo at Christmas, a potluck on Boxing Day, a Mexican night on orthodox New Year's (sounds funny, huh?). Joe of Jubilee liked to experiment with new recipes; we were often his willing testers. This is his excellent bagel recipe.
4 cups bread flour
1 Tb sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tb vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.
Knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
Pre heat your oven to 425.
I used both hands to make a rope by rubbing the dough between them You can also roll out on the counter The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be!
Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly.
After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they're done!
You can add any toppings you like to these. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels.