Heat 1/2 cup beer and 1 cup water over low heat in a small, heavy saucepan to between 100° and 110°. Combine beer mixture and yeast in a large bowl, stirring until yeast dissolves. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg white.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt to beer mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 10 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), shape each portion into a ball. Make a hole in the center of each ball using your index finger. Using fingers of both hands, gently pull dough away from center to make a 1 1/2-inch hole. Place bagels on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Lightly coat bagels with cooking spray; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 10 minutes (bagels will rise only slightly).
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine remaining beer, 4 cups water, and sugar in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer. Gently lower 1 bagel into simmering beer mixture. Cook 30 seconds. Turn bagel with a slotted spoon; cook an additional 30 seconds. Transfer bagel to a wire rack lightly coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining bagels.
Place bagels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg yolk in a small bowl; stir with a fork until blended. Brush bagels with yolk mixture; sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds.
Bake at 400° for 17 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
This recipe is WELL worth the time it takes to complete. You won't find a chewier, yummier bagel south of D.C. I find it easier to use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with dough hook to mix & knead the dough (for 8-10 minutes on the lowest speed). Use 3 hours one afternoon to make a double batch & then freeze them so you can enjoy them for many weeks. (Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight before you want to toast one up.) (And DON'T mix 2 batches AT ONCE in a Kitchen Aid, it's too much for the motor. Mix & knead them separately & then combine them to rise.)
Excellent bagel recipe that can be done in a kitchen with minimum gadgetry (e.g. no food processing, no fancy stand mixers, just bowls, and kneading by hand). This comes together nicely and the beer adds a nice touch. I used Leffe Brown Ale, omitted the corn meal, and added these toppings instead of the ones recommended by the recipe: salt, garlic powder, dried onions, fennel seeds, and sesame seeds. This is time-consuming, but comes together smoothly with additional help in the kitchen. I would imagine that kids would love helping out with this. Solid recipe.
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