Mix starter or poolish ingredients in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Leave to ferment at room temperature for 7 to 8 hours until bubbly and swollen in size.
Add the starter or polish to the mixing bowl of a mixer or to a large bowl. To that add the water, honey, flour, salt (on one side of the bowl) and yeast (on opposite side of the bowl.
Using a dough hook on the lowest setting (or by hand), mix all ingredients until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes) and turn off the mixer. Cover the bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
Knead with the dough hook on the lowest setting (or by hand), for 5 minutes and tip out onto a lightly floured counter. Stretch the dough into a large rectangle and fold letter-style, top to middle, bottom over top and side to side.
Place in an oiled, straight-sided clear container and cover.
After 15 minutes, repeat the stretch and fold procedure and cover again.
Let rise at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes until the dough is 1 1/2 times as large as it was initially or doubled in volume.
Divide into 16 equal pieces and roll each into round balls.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Press each ball with thumb and forefinger to form a hole and use fingers to roll and stretch the bagels until the holes are about 2 inches in diameter. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper sprayed well with vegetable oil spray. This prevents the wet bagels from becoming one with the parchment.
Cover with oiled plastic and let rise for 15 to 20 minutes or until one of the bagels floats in a bowl of cold water.
Meanwhile prepare the boiling bath by mixing all ingredients and bringing to a light boil.
Also bring out the sesame seeds, rehydrated onion flakes, poppy seeds or whatever the toppings are you choose. I like to rehydrate onion flakes and toast the sesame seeds before making the bagels.
Boil each bagel (4 to 5 at a time if you can without crowding the pan) for 1 minute and flip the bagels with a slotted spoon to boil on the opposite side for 1 minute as well. Remove with the slotted spoon and return the boiled and swollen bagels to their parchment paper.
Put toppings on the wet bagels and bake at 450 F for 6 to 7 minutes, rotate the pans and bake for another 6 to 7 minutes being careful not to over-brown the bagels. Bagels should be dark golden in color.
Place bagels on a cooling rack and let cool before slicing.