- ¾ tsp. rapid acting yeast
- 1 2/3 cups warm water
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
- 4¼ cups bread flour
- 1½ Tbsp. salt
- Vegetable oil for bowl, plastic wrap, and baking sheet
- Fennel seeds, poppy seeds, and/or sesame seeds for topping (optional)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the yeast and water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using dough hook attachment and with mixer on low speed, add sugar, 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, flour, and salt. Mix about 1 minute until dough forms. Dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky. Add more flour or water if needed, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Continue to mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; cover the oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes. (This will relax the dough to make it easier to shape.)
Lightly brush baking sheets with oil. With lightly oiled hands, roll each piece of dough into a 6-inch rope. Holding one end of the rope between your thumb and forefinger, wrap dough around your hand to form a circle with overlapping ends (they should overlap by a few inches). Still holding the dough, press the overlapping ends on the work surface, rolling back and forth to seal with the palm of your hand.
Place bagels 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until puffed, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with oven racks set in the upper and lower thirds. Fill a large stockpot with 5 qts. of water and bring to a boil. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. maple syrup. Gently drop bagels into the water. Add as many bagels as will comfortably fit without touching each other. After 30 seconds, flip bagels over with a slotted spoon. Simmer for 30 seconds more. Place bagels on baking sheets. Top with seeds or salt as desired, while bagels are still wet.
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate sheets from upper to lower shelf and from lower to upper shelf, and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Flip bagels over and continue to bake until the other side turns golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Bagels can be frozen, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 weeks. Preslice bagels before freezing for easy toasting. Make mini bagels by dividing into 20 equal pieces in Step 2.
Equipment needed: Measuring cups and spoons, Mixer bowl, Electric mixer with dough hook, Large bowl, Plastic wrap, Damp towel, Pastry brush, Baking sheet, Whisk, Spatula, Large stock pot, Slotted spoon, Wire rack.