I have made this recipe 6 times in 2 weeks time, and they have been excellent every time. Here are a few tips I've discovered through testing and experience: I have tried substituting brown sugar for white sugar in this entire recipe, including the boil, and they taste equally good but a little different (my wife thinks they are better). 7 minutes of boiling is pointless, as I've done many experiments with these and found that 1:30 each side is the max needed -- nothing longer than that will make it any chewier. Boil with a ROLLING boil, not a simmer as per the recipe. The temp will drop when you add the dough anyhow, so a rolling boil keeps things boiling when the bagels go in. Bake them at 400F for about 20-25 minutes, turning the cookie sheet around halfway through so it bakes evenly. The chewy texture is best achieved through letting them cool and staying out all day (or overnight) before bagging. They will taste less yeasty and more dense and chewy after sitting out. Also, this recipe will yield very small bagels if you make 12 so I suggest doing 7-8 for a regular-sized bagel. Brush them with egg before baking for a glossy surface and save yourself the whole broiling step. If you prefer not to use vegetable oil you can sprinkle yellow cornmeal on the cookie sheet instead. It won't stick and it adds a little bonus flavor underneath. Lastly, I have gotten excellent results using 1 tsp. less yeast (so a total 3.5tsp). Happy bagel making!
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I have made this recipe 6 times in 2 weeks time, and they have been excellent every time. ...