- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or in a large bowl using a wooden spoon, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water, half of the honey (1/4 cup/60 ml) and the oil. Stir until a soft ball forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface or in the stand mixer for 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm, humid place for 30 minutes.
- On a work surface, shape the dough into a log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 9-inch (23 cm) rope. To join the two ends together, slightly overlap them, then roll the seam back and forth using the palm of your hand. Set aside on a lightly floured surface and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 15 minutes.
- With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Sprinkle each sheet with 1 tbsp of sesame seeds.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 12 cups (3 litres) of water and the remaining honey to a boil. Poach 3 to 4 bagels at a time for 3 minutes or until slightly puffed, turning halfway through cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared sheets. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 20 minutes or until the bagel are golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy with homemade cream cheese (see recipe).
Keep an eye on the clock after you’ve shaped your bagels. If left longer than 15 minutes, the dough will swell with air bubbles that could compromise the bagel’s chewy texture.