2 (1/4 ounce) packages active yeast
4 1/4 cups unbleached flour, divided
1 1/2 cups warm water (115 to 120 degrees F)
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, optional
1/2 cup raisins, optional
brown sugar, to taste
nondairy milk, as needed
molasses, to taste
1. Combine the yeast and 1 cup flour. In a separate bowl, combine water, 3 tablespoons vegan sugar and salt. Add to flour mixture. Stir in raisins, 1 tablespoon sugar, and cinnamon, if using.
2. Beat with electric mixer or stir vigourously until no lumps remain and the mixture is sort of splashy. Add remaining flour. Mix until dough is tough. Turn out on floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rise 10-15 minutes.
3. Oil or spray a large cookie sheet. Divide the dough into 12 to 24 portions, rolling each into a ball and pulling a hole through in the middle with your fingers. Place the bagels on the cookie sheet, cover and let rise in a warm place for at least 20 minutes and no more than 2 hours (or you'll have dough coming out of your ears).
4. Meanwhile, put 1 gallon water and 1 tablespoon vegan sugar in a large pot to boil; reduce to simmer. Cook bagels, 4 or 5 at a time for 4 to 7 minutes (depending on the toughness of the skin you prefer; the longer they boil, the tougher they get), turning once.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For glaze, mix the brown vegan sugar, molasses, and nondairy milk. Drizzle onto the bagels for a sweeter taste. Bake the bagels for 31 minutes, or until golden brown.
Nutrition Information: With raisins and brown vegan sugar-12 bagels: 201 calories, 0 g fat Without raisins and brown vegan sugar-12 bagels: 163 calories, 0 g fat