We learned that baking the bagels at 425 degrees for the first half of the baking time ensured a nice rise, then turning down the oven to 350 degrees dried out the interiors without the exteriors getting too dark. To make these bagels dairy-free, substitute Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for butter and reduce salt to 1 teaspoon.
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. As soon as oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. (This will be warm proofing box for dough. Do not begin step 2 until oven has been turned off.) Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with vegetable oil spray.
2. Combine 13.3 ounces warm water, yeast, and sugar in bowl and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in melted butter and molasses. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour blend, oat flour, psyllium, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum on low speed until combined, about 1 minute Slowly add yeast mixture and mix until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat until dough is sticky and uniform, about 6 minutes. (Dough will be quite stiff.)
3. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces (5 1/4 ounces each). Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll into 9-inch-long rope (do not taper ends). Bring ends of rope together to form circle, overlapping ends by 1 inch. Gently pinch ends of dough together to seal. Pick up bagel, and using two fingers, gently roll seam against counter to reshape; transfer to prepared sheet.
4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, place sheet in warmed oven, and let rise for 10 minutes; do not let plastic touch oven rack. Remove sheet from oven and let sit on counter until dough is puffy and has risen by 50 percent, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water and baking soda to boil in Dutch oven.
5. Working with 1 bagel at a time, place in boiling water and cook for 10 seconds, flipping them over halfway through cooking. Using wire skimmer, return bagels to sheet, right side up, with flat bottoms against pan.
6. Set sheet with bagels inside second rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, rotate sheet, and continue to bake until bagels are evenly golden brown, about 20 minutes.
7. Remove bagels from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer bagels to wire rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. (Cooled bagels can be stored in zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be sliced, wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 1 month.)