Mix 1-1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add water gradually and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of flour. Beat at high speed for two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. (Dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl).
Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as necessary. Place in ungreased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place for 20 minutes (dough will rise, but will not double).
Punch down dough; divide into 12 small balls. Push a finger through the middle of each ball creating a round hole about 1/2 inch in diameter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Boil at least 2-inches of water in a large shallow pan. Lower heat and add a few bagels at a time. Simmer bagels in water for 2 to 3 minutes turning once. Remove from water and replace the bagels on the greased baking sheet.
Mix together egg white and a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg white wash over each bagel. Sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame seeds over the bagels. Bake for 30 minutes.
Italian Herb Bagels: Add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and replace salt with onion salt.
Onion Bagels: Add 2 tablespoons of dehydrated minced onion, and replace salt with onion salt.