I made bagels for the first time last week, and then a second time this week. Why have I not done this before? We used to come back from New York every summer with a carry-on bag full of bagels, that we then sorted into ziplock bags and threw in the freezer to eat during the year. And then a couple of years ago bagels showed up at the supermarket here in Switzerland! We were sceptical, naturally, but they we're round with a hole in them so we tried them. Unsurprisingly they weren't great. They were just too yeasty, and not chewy enough.
Still I didn't think of making them myself. I think I was intimidated because bread always seemed like a "big thing" to me. But after seeing a post about bagels on A Beautiful Mess, I decided to try it (also because I was frustrated with sewing but still needed to make something, anything, and that's where cooking and baking comes in). I followed the instructions of the original recipe, but used normal white flour (didn't know where to get "bread flour" and I was impatient) and they turned out fine!
For the second round I bought gluten and added a tablespoon of that for every cup of normal flour I used (because the dough is supposed to be high in gluten), and they turned out even better! Next time I'll make twice as many! I mean, they're not H&H (btw, why did they close??? whyyyyyy????) but they're so much better than the Swiss-Supermarket-Bagels! I encourage you to try this, they're not as complicated as they sound.
(PS: I got into art school! Got the letter today! :D)