beat with electric mixture until no lumps remain and mixture is sort of splashy.
add raisins, if using, and remaining flour.
mix until dough is tough.
turn out on floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.
cover and let rise 10-15 minutes.
spray a large cookie sheet.
Divide the dough into 12 to 24 portions, rolling each into a ball and pulling a hole through in the middle with your fingers.
Place the bagels on the cookie sheet, cover and let rise in a warm place for at least 20 minutes and no more than 2 hours (or you'll have dough coming out of your ears).
Meanwhile, put one gallon of water and one tablespoon of sugar in a large pot to boil; reduce to simmering. Cook bagels, 4 or 5 at a time for 4 to 7 minutes (depending on the toughness of the skin you prefer - the longer they boil, the tougher they get), turning once.