Shape using any of the following methods:
Hole In The Middle Method: Roll each piece of dough into a ball, poke a floured finger through the center to form the hole, and then shape top and smooth sides. Moisten your finger with water, if necessary to smooth. Pull gently to enlarge hole. The resulting bagel is smooth and there is no joint.
Or, press the round on your floured board. Using the index fingers of both hands, poke a hole an dpull dough until the hole is large, and then round out the bagel and smooth the top and edges.
The Hula Hoop Around The Finger Method: Create a circle without a joint by flattening a ball of dough slightly into a round shape, folding the bottom edge under and smoothing it until it looks like a mushroom top. With a floured index finger, make a hole in the center of the circle from the bottom up. Twirl the circle around your index finger, or two fingers, like a hula-hoop, to widen the hole. Pull out and shape the round.
The Rope Method: Roll each piece of dough into a rope by rolling it on the bread board or between your hands. Wrap the rope around four fingers, overlap and join the ends, and turn the circle inside out. Until you get this hand movement down pat, you may have to moisten the ends to hold them together. Initially the length may be lumpy and the joint will show. It takes practice.
Or, roll dough into 30" lengths, cut each length into thirds (each 10" long) and join the ends. If you become proficient at this hand-made method, make 10" marks on the edge of your bread board so your bagels will be a consistent size.
Bagel Cutter Method: Roll dough out to a flat shape about 1/2" thick. Cut with a bagel cutter and smooth the tops over the sides so they're rounded, using a little water on your fingers to smooth, if necessary. Knead scraps again, reroll and cut into as many more bagels as there is dough. If you don't have a bagel cutter, use a wide champagne glass to cut out the outside. Cut the inside hole with the edge of a cordial galss or the small end of a measuring jigger. Any leftover dough can be rolled into two strips and made into a bagel twist (separate recipe), sealing ends with a dab of water so they don't untwist while boiling and baking.
Place shaped bagels on the greased baking sheet for the second rise, spacing them at least an inch apart to allow for the second rise. Proceed to Step 3: Second Rise.
Step 3: Second Rise
During the second rising of the dough, the bagels will puff up on the greased baking sheet. Cover them with a length of plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick vegetable spray or a very lightly dampaned cloth such as a tea towel. Place them in a draft free location and let them rise at room temperature until puffy, about 20 minutes.
boil and bake them later, or the next morning. Leave them covered so they do not dry out. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to warm slightly while you boil water and preheat the oven.
The second rise can be speeded up by using the mocrowave. Fill a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup with water and bring the water to a boil. Place in a corner of the mocrowave. Place the baking sheet of covered bagels in the microwave and close the door, but so not turn on the microwave. The bagels should rise in a bout 6 minutes. (It won't matter if the shet is metal beacuse you don't turn on the oven.)
Or, spray shaped tops of dough with water. Place bagels on a microwave-safe surface and heat in the microwave on Low or Defrost setting for 3 minutes; rest for 3 minutes. Repeat heating and resting until bagels are puffy.
Proceed to Step 4: Boil or "kettle".
Continued In About Bagels - General Directions 4
The Best Bagels Are Made At Home by Dona Z. Meilach Isbn 1-55867-131-5