Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl. Let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Gradually add the flour, few cups at a time and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together with a wooden spoon ( hands preferable)
It should be a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat with little oil.
Cover and let rise until almost doubled, approx 1 hour.
Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll into a circle, using your finger poke a hole in the middle. Place on a lightly greased surface, covered with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen a tad about 20 to 30 minutes.
Bring a large skillet of water to a boil. Add about 1 tbsp of sugar to the water. Drop the bagels into them for about 45 second to a minute, turning them in the middle.
Remove and lay them on a greased baking sheet.
Use any topping you like at this time, if at all, cos it will stick on the wet surface.
Bake for about 5-10 minutes in a preheated 400F oven until golden/crusty on the surface.. Updated This baking time varies from oven to oven. While it used to take 15-20min in my previous Oven, it takes only about 5-10 minutes in my current oven after which it dries out and becomes hard. I think the trick to know the correct time would be when the surface of your bagels gets slightly golden. It gets crusty even after taking it out of the oven and during the cooling process. This will be a trial and error for every oven.