One week before going to the US I broke down and made bagels in France. They're just so good...and we had cream cheese in the fridge mocking me.
This is my second attempt at bagels, and I think the key is in the kneading. Since it's such a heavy dough, you have to knead, knead, knead until it's smooth and elastic. Other than that, it's a pretty simple recipe. There are lots of steps, but none are complicated.
Did you know that bagels were first created by a Jewish baker in Vienna in 1683 as gifts to the king of Poland who had protected them form Turkish invaders?