I've been trying to top my homemade bagels with poppy seeds but haven't had much luck getting them to stick.
The instructions I've found says to boil the bagels first, then sprinkle seeds on top after boiling (before baking). The problem is that almost all of the seeds just fall right off, and the ones that do manage to stay on in the oven are not well attached and come off later (e.g. while cutting the bagel).
I've tried putting some poppy seeds on a plate and rolling the boiled bagel around, but it doesn't really seem to be much better. Plus, handling the bagel too much before baking causes it to deflate.
I've used a few recipes to make the bagels, some call for adding baking soda to the water and some call for malt extract powder.
Anyone have any advice? Some bagel shops manage to get poppy seeds absolutely covering the bagel, so there must be some trick...