In the bowl a stand mixer combine yeast, sugar, and ½ cup of the warm water.
Gently stir together with a whisk and let sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
Add remaining warm water and salt.
Using dough hook attachment on medium low speed, slowly spoon in sifted bread flour.
Once dough begins to form turn speed up to medium and allow dough hook to work the dough for 8-10 min.
Dough should be smooth and soft. Do a quick windowpane test ( take a small piece of dough and spread apart with your fingers, if you can see light through the dough without it breaking, its ready) If dough is not ready knead for additional 5 minutes. Otherwise place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm draft free place for an hour. (dough should double in size).
While dough is rising line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with water, add 2 Tbsp baking soda and set on stove.
Remove plastic from bowl and take your fist and slowly punch down through the dough removing an excess air.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface.
Divide into 8 equal portions (weigh to be exact).
Roll each portion into a ball.
Push your finger through the center of each ball, pulling slightly to create a hole.
Shape your bagels into a flatter ring and set onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Cover your bagels with a light tea towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 435 F and bring your water pot to boil.
Stir water in pot to mix the baking soda.
Using a flat spatula transport 2-3 bagels into the boiling water.
Let bagels boil for one minute, flipping halfway.
Remove each bagel and place back onto the baking sheets.
Repeat with remaining bagels.
Sprinkle your toppings generously across the wet bagels.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove bagels from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.