I've made pretzels before, and some of the process is the same for the bagels so I figured it couldn't be that hard to make.
I set out to find the right recipe, and the one I happened upon was this one from Natural Chow. It was simple to make and they turned out pretty good. I don't know if it's because it was the first time making them or not, but they weren't as smooth as I would have liked them so I'm going to continue looking for recipes until I find the perfect one for me.
Nonetheless I wanted to share this recipe with you because it is pretty easy to make and tastes good too.
Source: Natural Chow
1½ cups warm water (110° F)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 quarts (8 cups) water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon unbleached pure cane sugar
Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and brown sugar. Let sit 2-3 minutes. Add in the flour and salt and mix on low speed until a cohesive dough has formed. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 1.5 hours.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and shape into smooth, round balls. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water and brown sugar to a very gentle boil in a large pan (I use a wok).
Preheat your oven to 425° F. Use your pointer finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it is about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4"-5" across).
Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels to the simmering water, four at a time. Increase the heat to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Simmer the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and simmer 1 minute more.
Using a skimmer or strainer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they're browned to your preference. To top with seeds, remove them from the oven after about 15 minutes, brush with water, and sprinkle with seeds. Return to the oven to finish baking.
Place the bagels on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cream cheese, lox, eggs, or whatever you'd like.