Note: Barley malt syrup is found in food co-ops and some grocery stores. Instant yeast also is called bread machine yeast. If you choose to add the optional pepper, make sure it’s finely ground.
• 2 c. lukewarm water
• 1 tbsp. barley malt syrup (see Note)
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 3 tsp. kosher salt
• 6 c. bread flour
• 2 tsp. instant yeast
• Scant 1/2 tsp. finely ground pepper, optional
• 1 tbsp. baking soda
• 1 egg white, beaten
• Toppings as desired
In a bowl, stir together 2 cups water, barley malt syrup, honey and salt. In a large bowl, stir together flour, yeast and, if desired, the pepper.
If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook on low speed as you add the water mixture to the flour. Mix until well-blended, about 3 minutes. If mixing by hand, use a sturdy spoon, or your hands, and mix for about 3 minutes. This is a fairly stiff dough.
Turn the dough out onto a counter and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth and only slightly tacky. Round into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about an hour.
(For fresh bagels in the morning, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, let the dough warm up on the counter for about an hour before shaping.)