In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water and yeast. Stir with a fork and leave to sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast begins to blossom.
Add salt, honey and whole wheat flour, Using the dough hook attachment, beat mixture for one minute on low to combine flour, then 3 minutes on high.
Turn off mixer and allow batter to rest for 5 minutes for the whole wheat flour to absorb the water.
Add the bread flour, one cup at a time, mixing dough on low. The dough will be quite soft. Knead on low for 8 minutes, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl or the dough hook as needed.
Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
During the rising period, prepare water in a large 4-1/2 litre pot. Bring to a boil, and add cane sugar or maple syrup (the sweetener will give the bagels a nice sheen when they come out of the water). Cover the pot and leave simmer on low. Grease 2 baking sheets with oil and sprinkle generously with cornmeal. Whisk egg white together with 1 teaspoon of water for the glaze and set aside.
Prepare toppings of choice - poppy seeds, sesame seeds - and reserve. Preheat oven to 450F.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and punch down. With a sharp knife, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Allow to rest for 3-4 minutes.
With your thumb, press deep into the centre of the ball, and open up a hole. Twirl the bagel around your thumb, gently stretching the dough apart.
Place formed bagels together on the floured work surface, cover with a towel and leave until dough is slightly raised - about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring your water to a low boil.
Gently lift bagels, one at a time, and lower into the simmering water. Do not do more than 2 or 3 at a time. Cook for 60 seconds, give or take, then flip them over in the water using a slotted spoon, and cook for another 60 seconds.
Lift bagels out with the slotted spoon, and place on your baking sheet. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
Brush with the egg glaze and dress them up with the topping of your choice and a sprinkling of coarse salt before popping them in the oven.
Bake bagels for about 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Keep an eye on them so that the bottoms don't burn. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.