The story of sesame bread "SİMİT"
Turkish simit is a delicious sesame crusted bread that you can have for breakfast. Learn how to make traditional simit recipe at home with this step-by-step tutorial.
Another Turkish recipe for your collection!. Now it’s time for one of the most iconic Turkish recipes out there: Simit, a beautiful bread shapes like a ring, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.
If you love bread as much as we do or if you enjoy bread baking as much as we do, you’re going to love today’s recipe. This Traditional Turkish bread is a little bit of a project but it’s so fun to make and it’s so tasty with all the toasted sesame seeds.
What is Simit?
Simit is a sesame crusted, circular bread from Turkey. Also known as Turkish bagel, Gevrek or Koulouri, this crusty bread is probably the most common bread in Turkey. It’s usually served for breakfast and it always has a ring shape. Simit is usually sold in carts in Istanbul and the people who sell them are called simitci.
How is turkish simit different from bagels?
Probably the only similarity between simit and bagels is that they’re both circular. Simit is not as thick and it’s crustier than bagel. The texture of simit is lighter compared to bagels and traditionally, they’re fully coated in sesame seeds.
Traditional simit ingredients;
Like many other bread recipes out there, a classic simit recipe calls for flour, yeast, salt, flour, sugar, water and vegetable oil. What makes this tukrish bread different than any other bread out there is that it’s dipped in a molasses and water mixture before being rolled in a pool of sesame seeds. The molasses and water combination gives this circular bread that unique brown color complimented by a very slight sweetness.
There are so many recipes for this transitional turkish bread out there and some have ingredients as simple as flour, water and yeast. It took us a few tries to perfect this recipe for simit and get it as close to the ones you would find in a turkish bakery.
How to make simit at home?
I love making simit at home, the process is so fun and rewarding. Start by placing 4 cups of flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Add in warm water and vegetable oil. Start mixing using the dough hook until the dough comes together and is a little sticky. If the dough is too sticky and sticks to the bowl, start adding the 5th cup of flour one tablespoon at a time. You will probably need only 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour.
Once the dough has come together and is a little sticky, it’s time to knead the dough. Knead the simit dough using a dough hook for about 8 minutes until it’s not sticky anymore. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 1.5 hours until it doubles in size.
Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds (check out The Spruce Eats’ tutorial o how to toast sesame seeds) and in a shallow and wide dish (like a pie dish) whisk together the molasses and water.
After 1.5 hours, check on the simit dough which must have doubled by now. Carefully punch in down and knead it for a few seconds. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll out two of the dough pieces into 25 inch tubes each. Place them parallel to each other and roll in opposite directions to make a twist (check out the step-by-step photos). Meet and pinch the ends on both sides together to form a circle. Repeat with the remaining 14 pieces to make 7 more simits.
Dip each twisted dough in the molasses and water combination and make sure it’s covered on both sides. Then dip them in toasted sesame seeds and ensure they are fully coated.
Let the dough circles rest for another 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake the simits in the oven for 12-15 minutes until they are brown and fully baked.
Enjoy your delicious Turkish bagel "Simit" with Turkish Tea.