Sesame Bread Rings

Simit

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    6-8

    sımît

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Bread rings rolled in sesame seeds, simit are sold in every bakery and on every street. The cries of the simitçi reverberate in the streets as he makes his way through the crowds with a tray of fresh simit on his head. A popular breakfast and snack bread, often eaten on its own, simit can be made with a sweetened spongy dough or with this simple bread dough. A teaspoon of mahlep is often added to enhance the flavour.

Ingredients

  • ½ oz/15 g fresh yeast, or ¼ oz/7 g dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ pint/150 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 lb/450 g strong unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • a flat bowl filled with roasted sesame seeds
  • a few drops olive or sunflower oil

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400F/Mark 6/200C
  • Cream the yeast with ½ teaspoon of sugar in a little of the lukewarm water. Leave to froth.
  • Sift the flour with the salt into a bowl and stir in the tablespoon of sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast, oil and the rest of the water, using your hands to draw the flour in from the sides. Add more water if necessary. Knead well on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Roll the ball of dough in a few drops of oil in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Leave to prove for a few hours until doubled in size.
  • Now punch the dough down, knock it back into a ball and divide it into 6-8 pieces. Knead each piece and shape it into a ring, approximately 7in/18cm in diameter, brush it with the beaten egg and dip it into the bowl of sesame seeds. When you have made them all, place them on an oiled baking sheet, cover with a damp towel and leave to relax for 15-20 minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden-brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.