* Adding honey to your boiling water helps give the bagels an extra golden and beautiful crust as they bake. If you don't have honey on hand, or would just prefer not to use it, you can use maple syrup, or even plain granulated/brown sugar. I've found that sugar doesn't yield as nice a crust as honey, but it's find to use in a pinch. Also, the flavor of maple syrup can be a bit strong. So if you do use it, just keep that in mind.