Combine yeast and 2 cups warm (110°) water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt, and 5 1/2 cups flour until moistened.
Spread 1/2 cup flour on a board and scrape dough onto it. Knead dough until very smooth and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes; add more flour as required to prevent sticking.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 40 minutes.
When dough is almost risen, bring 3 quarts water to boiling in a covered 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat.
Meanwhile, knead dough on a lightly floured board to expel air, then divide into 12 equal pieces. To shape bagels, knead each piece into a smooth ball. Holding the ball with both hands, poke your thumbs through the center to form a hole. With 1 thumb in the hole, work around the bagel to make it smooth and evenly thick.
Set bagels on lightly floured 12- by 15-inch baking sheets; let stand, covered with plastic wrap, just until they are slightly puffy, about 10 minutes.
With your hand, gently slip bagels into boiling water, adding 4 at a time to pan. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil and turn bagels often until they feel firm but are still slightly spongy, 3 to 5 minutes. Chill remaining bagels until you are ready to boil them.
With a slotted spoon, transfer bagels to a towel; drain briefly, then place bagels slightly apart on 2 lightly oiled 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.
In a food processor or with a knife, coarsely chop cheese.
Beat egg yolk to blend with 1 tablespoon water and brush mixture over bagels. Then pat cheese onto bagels, pressing gently to make the cheese stick.
Bake bagels in a 375° oven until browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on racks. Serve warm or cool.
These make beautiful bagels! This was my first attempt at a bagel recipe. Super easy and very fast for a homemade bread recipe. My bagels turned out a little more dense than I'm used to, but I only kneaded for 10 minutes. Even so, still made for a good bagel, just a little denser.
Very easy and very good: crispy and chewy. Reminds me of the ones I bought at the Bagel Factory in Anchorage. This one is a keeper. Think I'll try some different additions next time since there are NO fresh bagel stores here in West Texas.
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!