what I did...Here is the recipe I followed. I got it from allrecipes.com and it came highly recommended. Like I said before, I have made breads and rolls many, many time and am familiar with the process and what the general texture should be. I used packaged yeast which according to the date was still good. Could it have gone bad though?? Oh, I followed the recipe that did NOT use the bread machine, maybe that was the problem but then I don't know why they would put it was an option if it doesn't work. :D
•4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•3 tablespoons white sugar
•1 1/2 teaspoons salt
•1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
•1 2/3 cups warm water
•2 tablespoons margarine
•1 tablespoon white sugar
•2 teaspoons salt
1.Mix together the unsifted flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, yeast, water, and butter in the bread machine on the manual setting.
2.OR, mix 1-1/2 cup flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and yeast. Heat water and butter to 120-130 degrees F. Add water to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on mixer. Add 1/2 cup flour, beat at high speed 2 minutes. Stir in more flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rise. Punch down. Cover; let rest 15 minutes.
3.Remove from bread machine.
4.Divide dough into 12 pieces; shape 3 pieces into smooth balls. Poke a 1 inch hole in each. Drop bagels into a large skillet with 1 inch water (simmering) with 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons salt in the water. Cook on medium low heat for 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes; turn again, cook 1 minute more. Drain on towels. Repeat for rest of dough. Place on greased cookie sheet.
5.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes. Remove from sheets and cool. If desired, before baking, mix 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water, brush on bagels, and sprinkle with sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds.