Step 1Whisk together yeast, warm water, oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons malt powder. Stir in 1 cup flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, then most of remaining flour. Knead on floured board 10 to 12 minutes to make a very stiff dough. Cover and let dough rest on a board about 10 minutes.
Step 2Divide dough into 10 to 12 sections and form into 10-inch long strips. Roll ends together to seal and make a ring. Place on a very lightly floured surface near your stove. Let bagels rest 15 to 20 minutes. Bagels should have a "half proof"--they should rise halfway or appear puffy.
Step 3Line 1 baking sheet with a kitchen towel. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly sprinkle them with cornmeal, if desired. Bring water to boil in large soup pot or Dutch oven; add 2 tablespoons malt powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce water to simmer and add bagels a few at a time. Allow to come to surface and simmer 30 seconds. Turn over and cook other side about 45 seconds (total 1 1/2 minutes). Place on towel-lined baking sheet. Leave plain or sprinkle on topping of choice. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.
Step 4Place in 450-degree oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 17 to 22 minutes, turning bagels once, when almost baked. (If you have a baking stone, finish bagels on the stone directly.)