1. In a stand mixer attached with the paddle attachment, mix 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt until combined.
2. Whisk hot water and honey together in a measuring cup.
3. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture. Beat until the dough just comes together. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and give the mixture one more good mix.Swap the paddle attachment for the dough hook.
4. Add remaining 1 cup of flour and mix on the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a smooth ball.
6. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl; cover with a dish towel and place the bowl in a warm, undisturbed area of your kitchen. Allow the dough to rise until its double in size, about 1 hour.
7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a log. Using a pastry scraper or floured knife, cut the log into 8 even pieces.Gently roll the dough into balls.
8. Place your thumb in the center of each ball and push down to create a hole. Gently tug on the dough to create a slightly larger whole. Cover the dough with a dry towel and allow to proof (rest) for 15 minutes.While the dough is resting, heat 8 cups of water to a gentle boil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment.Boil the bagels for 40 seconds on each side.
9. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and onto your prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each bagel with a generous pinch of sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops of the bagels are golden brown.Store the cooled bagels in an airtight container or bag for up to 7 days. Or, freeze the bagels in a single layer for up to 3 months.