Finished with my bagels for the night. They are now resting comfortably for 20 minutes or so on a sheet pan in a plastic trash bag. When my kitchen timer beeps, I will put them in the fridge for the night.
A few interesting points:
1. I am aiming for a somewhat normal cinnamon-raisin bagel. I combined the recipe from this site with the cinnamon-raisin bagel recipe from fooddownunder.com, in hopes of achieving a balance between the two.
2. I could not for the life of me get that last 3/4 cup of flour into the dough. I think this might have to do with the addition of the 1 cup of raisins. Instead of 7 and 3/4 cups of flour, I ended up with an even 7, plus 1 cup of raisins and 1 TBS of cinnamon. They look and smell exactly like the cinnamon-raisin bagels I am used to, so here's to hoping they turn out good.
3. Kneading this dough is serious work! I like to knead by hand but this dough just about had me beat. Next time I may surrender and let my KitchenAid stand mixer handle it. It was fun though, especially because all the kneading started to break down the raisins a little, which made the dough smell amazing.
4. I have never made a sponge before tonight. I have to say that is quite possibly the weirdest thing I have ever produced in my kitchen! I'm one of those people who (as a kid) hid wet bread in tinfoil all over the house to make mold for science projects in gradeschool, so I am easily fascinated by weird science stuff. I had to take a minute or two to just poke at the sponge and marvel at the weird foamy texture. :-)
Well, my timer just beeped, so into the fridge they go.