In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. In bread machine pan, place the water, sour cream, onion mixture, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, herbs, garlic, flour and yeast in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into 9 balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-1/2-in. hole. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes; flatten bagels slightly. In a non-aluminum Dutch oven, bring water to a boil with remaining sugar and salt. Drop bagels, 1 at a time, into water. Cook for 30 seconds; turn and cook 30 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels.
Sprinkle 2 greased baking sheets with cornmeal; place bagels 2 in. apart on prepared pans. Bake at 425° until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Test Kitchen tips
To prepare dough by hand: Dissolve yeast in warm water. In small bowl, combine sour cream and 2 tablespoons sugar. In a large bowl, combine, cooked onion mixture, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, herbs, garlic, flour. Add yeast mixture, sour cream mixture and enough water to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until a smooth, firm dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rest 30 minutes in a warm place. Proceed with recipe as written.
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