Simit – Turkish Sesame Bread Ring

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Simit Turkish bread, a delectable delight, might be one of Turkey’s best-kept secrets! Every culture boasts a unique bread variant, each captivating in its own right. However, Simit, one of Turkey’s most famous street foods, is an incredible offering for breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes you may not have encountered before.

My fond memories of enjoying Kaak growing up make me appreciate Simit’s unique qualities even more. Simit reminds me a lot of the street bread made where I grew up called Kaak, a sizeable ring-shaped bread like a bagel but with softer dough inside. Like Kaak, Simit is technically not a bagel. Simit has a nutty flavoring, a crunchy outer shell coated with sesame seeds, and a soft inside. It will become one of your bread favorites in no time! With its delightful nutty flavor, crunchy sesame seed coating, and tender interior, Simit is a bread that captures the essence of Turkish cuisine and is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen, too!

Ingredients for Making Simit

To craft the delightful Simit, a beloved Turkish sesame bread, you’ll need the following key ingredients:

  • Yeast: Yeast is the magic ingredient that gives Simit light and airy texture. It’s responsible for the bread’s rise and the formation of those soft, fluffy interiors.
  • Grape Molasses: Grape molasses is a unique addition that lends a touch of sweetness to Simit. It enhances the flavor and contributes to the bread’s lovely brown color and crusty exterior.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are an iconic feature of Simit. They’re generously sprinkled on the surface, giving the bread its signature nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch with every bite.
  • Sugar: A bit of sugar helps activate the yeast, kickstarting the fermentation process crucial for the bread’s structure and flavor.
  • Sea Salt: Sea salt not only seasons the dough but also strengthens the gluten structure, ensuring that your Simit has the perfect balance of flavors.

Each ingredient is vital in creating Simit’s unique taste and texture. The yeast provides the rise; grape molasses adds sweetness; toasted sesame seeds deliver crunch; sugar aids in fermentation; and sea salt enhances the overall flavor profile. When combined, they result in a bread that’s unlike any other.

Tips for Shaping Simit into a Perfect Ring

Creating the classic Simit ring shape may seem tricky initially, but with some practice, you’ll master it effortlessly. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Prepare the Dough: Ensure your dough is well-prepared with the right ingredients. Check the yeast for freshness by dissolving it in warm water with a pinch of sugar; it should become frothy within a few minutes. Use warm water and find a warm, draft-free place for the dough to rise, which will help it achieve its ideal texture.
  • Roll the Dough: Begin by dividing your dough into two equal portions. Roll each portion into long, snake-like strips. These will serve as the basis for your Simit.
  • Twist and Intertwine: Place the two strips of dough parallel to each other, ensuring their ends align. Now, gently twist the strips together, much like braiding hair. This intertwining step is what gives Simit its characteristic appearance.
  • Form a Circle: Bring the two ends of the twisted dough together once the strips are woven, creating a circular shape. Make sure to firmly press the ends together to prevent any unraveling during baking.
  • Smooth the Ring: To achieve a seamless and evenly shaped Simit, insert your hand into the circle’s center and gently roll the dough on a flat surface. This will help smooth out any unevenness and create a uniform ring shape.
  • Additional Tips: Be patient with the dough and take your time when shaping the rings. If the dough becomes too elastic or rigid, rest for a few minutes before continuing. Also, ensure your hands are lightly dusted with flour to prevent sticking.

Savoring Simit Turkish Bread

As a devoted fan of Simit, I have my favorite way to enjoy this Turkish delight, along with a nod to the traditional Turkish approach:

  • Personal Favorite: One of my absolute favorite ways to savor Simit is by creating a mouthwatering sandwich. I love to fill the Simit with creamy feta cheese, slices of ripe tomatoes, and fragrant fresh mint leaves. The combination of textures and flavors, from the Simit’s crunchy crust to the creamy feta and the burst of freshness from the mint, creates an irresistible treat that I can never get enough of.
  • Traditional Turkish Style: In Turkey, Simit holds a special place in the hearts of many. The traditional way to enjoy Simit is on the bustling streets of Istanbul or other Turkish cities. Locals often pair this circular bread with a simple yet classic combination: Simit and tea. It’s common to see people grabbing a freshly baked Simit from a street vendor and enjoying it with a glass of Turkish tea. The contrast between the crunchy sesame-coated bread and the soothing warmth of the tea is a quintessential Turkish experience.

Exploring Mediterranean Bread Varieties

While Simit, the beloved Turkish sesame bread, holds a special place in the heart of Mediterranean cuisine enthusiasts, the world of Mediterranean bread is waiting to be explored. Discover bread like my Sicilian Soccica bread, a rustic and aromatic delight with roots in the beautiful island of Sicily. Alternatively,  another favorite of mine is authentic Taboon bread, cherished in Middle Eastern cuisine for its unique texture and versatility. These bread varieties, each with their regional flavors and traditions, are a testament to the rich diversity of Mediterranean baking.

How to Make Simit – Turkish Sesame Bread Ring

Preparation

1.
Heat your oven to 500°F. Place a stone (if you have it) into the range to heat the simit. To make the dough mix instant yeast with lukewarm water and wait a few minutes for the yeast to wake up.
Mark as complete
2.
Pile the flour on the work surface (or in a bowl) and create a well at the pile's center.
Mark as complete
3.
Add the water to the well, then gradually mix the flour and water. If the dough is stiff, wet your fingers and keep on kneading. Knead for about 8-9 minutes until you reach a smooth tackles consistency.
Mark as complete
4.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth when your dough is ready, and wait 30 minutes. When it rises, knead once more and portion into 4 oz balls. Then, divide each dough ball into two pieces.
Mark as complete
5.
Shape each piece into long strips (16-18 in). Tie two ends of the loop to form a circle and ensure you join them well. Then, take two strips side to side and wrap them one another, creating a spiral.
Mark as complete
6.
Dust your work surface and rest the simits while shaping others.
Mark as complete
7.
Mix the molasses, water, and flour using a deep plate. On a separate tray, pour a generous amount of sesame seeds. If you can't find half-roasted sesame seeds, roast them in a pan until they change color slightly. Set your oven to 445°F without a fan on the upper and lower heat. Dip your simits into the first station to coat them with the molasses mixture. Then dip them into the second station to cover them with sesame seeds.
Mark as complete
8.
Place the Simits into the oven with a pizza stone and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown and crunchy. Enjoy!
Mark as complete

Ingredients:

1X 2X 3X
Adjust Servings
2.2 lb. bread flour and extra for dusting
1 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
½ tablespoon salt
2 cups lukewarm drinking water
Ingredients For Dip:
1 cup grape molasses
½ cup water
1 tablespoon flour
3-4 cups half-roasted sesame seeds

Preparation

1
Heat your oven to 500°F. Place a stone (if you have it) into the range to heat the simit. To make the dough mix instant yeast with lukewarm water and wait a few minutes for the yeast to wake up.
2
Pile the flour on the work surface (or in a bowl) and create a well at the pile's center.
3
Add the water to the well, then gradually mix the flour and water. If the dough is stiff, wet your fingers and keep on kneading. Knead for about 8-9 minutes until you reach a smooth tackles consistency.
4
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth when your dough is ready, and wait 30 minutes. When it rises, knead once more and portion into 4 oz balls. Then, divide each dough ball into two pieces.
5
Shape each piece into long strips (16-18 in). Tie two ends of the loop to form a circle and ensure you join them well. Then, take two strips side to side and wrap them one another, creating a spiral.
6
Dust your work surface and rest the simits while shaping others.
7
Mix the molasses, water, and flour using a deep plate. On a separate tray, pour a generous amount of sesame seeds. If you can't find half-roasted sesame seeds, roast them in a pan until they change color slightly. Set your oven to 445°F without a fan on the upper and lower heat. Dip your simits into the first station to coat them with the molasses mixture. Then dip them into the second station to cover them with sesame seeds.
8
Place the Simits into the oven with a pizza stone and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly brown and crunchy. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Suggestions

Storing and Freezing Tips for Simit Turkish Bread:

For Short-Term Freshness (1-2 Days): Keep Simit in a cool, dry place. Wrap it in a paper bag or cloth to maintain its crunchiness and prevent drying out.

For Extended Enjoyment (Several Months): Allow freshly baked Simit to cool completely. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Consider placing the wrapped Simit in a resealable plastic freezer bag for extra protection.

When Ready to Enjoy: No need to thaw frozen Simit. Reheat it in a preheated oven or toaster oven at a moderate temperature until warm and crispy. This process rejuvenates its delightful crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior, making it as tantalizing as when fresh.

Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
See our full nutrition disclosure here.

rana

By Rana

Thanks for visiting my Mediterranean food blog and welcome to my virtual kitchen! Here, you’ll find mouth-watering, wholesome, and nutritious Mediterranean recipes that will change the way you view cooking.

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