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These famous doughnut-shaped rolls are a distinctive part of Jewish cuisine. They are first cooked in water, then baked, giving the bagel its characteristic hard, glazed crust.

DOUGH RISING TIME: 1 hour 10 minutes
BOILING TIME: 10 minutes
BAKING TIME: about 30 minutes
YIELD: 18 bagels

2 cups (500 ml) warm water
2 teaspoons (10 ml) dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
5 cups (11/4 litres) plain baking flour
1 tablespoon (20 ml) salt
4 litres/quarts water for boiling
2 tablespoons (40 ml) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (40 ml) milk for glazing
poppy seeds for decoration

1. Mix 3/4 cup (185 ml) water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar in a bowl and let sit covered in a warm place for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear.

2. Add this mixture, along with the oil and the rest of the water, to the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well to a stiff dough and knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured board.

3. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size in a warm, undisturbed place. Punch the dough with your fist and knead for a few minutes.

4. Divide the dough into 18 portions; then with your hands roll each one into a rope shape, approximately 15 cm (6-inches) long. Moisten the ends and overlap them, squeezing them together to seal, forming rings. Allow all the bagels to stand in a warm place for 10 minutes on an oiled tray.

5. Bring the water to a rolling boil in a large pan. Add the 2 tablespoons (40 ml) of brown sugar and drop 5 or 6 of the bagels into the water. Allow the bagels to boil for 3 minutes, turning once, not allowing them to overlap.

6. With a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them onto an oiled oven tray. When all bagels have been boiled and placed on trays, brush them with milk and sprinkle poppy seeds on them. Finally, bake in a hot oven 230C/450F until the bagels are golden brown. Serve hot or cold.