Crispy on the outside, coated with toasted sesame seeds, but soft on the inside; there is nothing quite like a Simit (Turkish bagel).
There is nothing quite like a fresh-baked Simit (Turkish bagel). You can find them in most Turkish bakeries but also from street carts selling them from just 1 or 2 lira. It is a quick and simple breakfast or snack and one of my favorites.
The art of making a Simit is beautiful. The bread is rolled out into long thin ropes, twisted and then shaped into a circle. Then it is dipped in molasses water and toasted sesame seeds and baked to crispy perfection. Making Simit at home is so much fun and so rewarding especially when you take that first bite. Yum.
Here’s the recipe:
For the dough:
- 2 c flour (plus more for dusting & kneading)
- 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 2/3 c warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oil
For topping the simit:
- 1 c sesame seeds (toasted)
- 1 T molasses
- 2 c warm water
To make the dough:
To make the dough, place the flour and salt in a bowl and stir. Then mix together the water and yeast in a separate bowl and add it to the flour mixture.
Stir until well incorporated and then pour onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
Meanwhile, place the sesame seeds onto a dry frying pan and toast until fragrant and lightly browned. Then pour them onto a plate and cool.
In a shallow bowl, mix together the molasses and the water.
To roll out the simit:
Method #1 The “Two Rope Method”:
Take 2 golf ball size pieces of dough and roll them out into a thin rope about 8 inches long. Then wrap them over each other and form into a circle. Press the ends together (securing with a bit of water if needed) and then roll the circle against the palm of your hand.
Method # 2 “The One Rope Method”:
Take 1 piece of dough about twice the size of a golf ball and roll it into a long rope about 16 inches long. Holding it in the air, fold it over and then spin into a twist. Press the ends together (securing with a bit of water if needed) and then roll the circle against the palm of your hand.
To top and bake the simit:
Pre-heat your oven for 200C/392F.
Take each simit and dip it on both sides into the molasses water and then dip into the toasted sesame seeds and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the simit have been coated.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the simit are nicely browned.
Serve & Enjoy (preferably while they are still warm with a glass of Turkish cay).