Simit – Turkish Bagels


Makes 10 small simit or 6-8 larger simit.

3 1/4 cup all purpose bread flour or unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 warm water
3 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup pekmez (This is also known as “Grape Molasses” and can be found at your local Middle Eastern Market)
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup raw sesame seeds

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and 1/2 cup of the warm water. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes or until it becomes frothy. If it does not become frothy, this means that the yeast is dead.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and stir. Create a hole in the middle of the flour where you will pour the yeast, sugar, and water mixture and the vegetable oil. Begin to knead the dough. As you keep kneading, you will need to add the rest of the water. Slowly add this into the dough. If you feel like you need more water, feel free to add more a little at a time. Once you’ve got the dough shaped into a ball, take a little bit more of the vegetable oil and brush the edges and bottom of the bowl that your dough will be rising in.

Step 3: Cover the bowl and wrap it up into a nice warm blanket or towel. Place it in a dry and warm area. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Step 4: Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and knead onto a lightly floured surface.

Step 5:  Preheat oven to 375-400°F (depending on your own personal oven). Divide dough into 6-10 equal pieces. And begin rolling it out into a rope…”like a snake”. Think back to your childhood days of playing with PlayDough. Pick up the rope and pull one end of the rope over to the other end like a “U” and begin twisting the dough so you get a braid. Attach the two ends together and make sure it’s a nice, secure circle.

Step 6: Dip each Simit into the Pekmez and water mixture and then dip into your bowl or plate of sesame seeds. Coat the entire Simit.

Step 7: Place Simit on lined baking tray and cover with a layer of saran wrap. Allow the simit to sit for about 15-20 minutes before placing it in the oven.

Step 8: Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Keep an eye out for the sesame seeds. If you burn the sesame seeds, they will taste bitter!

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