Combine the warm water, yeast, and the 1.5 Tablespoons of granulated sugar in a mixer with a dough hook. Let stand 5 minutes until the yeast activates and the mixture becomes foamy.
Gradually add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix with dough hook until combined.
Slowly add the additional 1/2 cup flour while working with your hands. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead until smooth and no longer sticky (add up to 1/2 cup more flour if necessary).
Grease a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and roll the dough ball to cover all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for about an hour (or until almost double in size).
After an hour, punch the dough down and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6" log and combine the ends with a little moisture (make sure they are joined or you will end up with cresents).
Place the bagels on a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rise again for 20 to 30 minutes (no longer).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Bring a large pot of water, flavored with the 1.5 teaspoon of sugar, to a boil. Drop the bagels into the water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, turning.
Upon removal from the boiling water, place the bagels onto an oiled baking sheet covered in cornmeal. Place into a preheated 400 degree fahrenheit oven.
Bake for 5 minutes. Remove and brush with an egg yolk. Top with desired toppings and put back into the oven for 28 to 32 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn oven down to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Remove when golden brown and hollow sounding.