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Turkish simit bread placed in a bowl from the top
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Turkish Simit Recipe (Turkish Bagel)

Learn how to make Turkish bread recipe using my foolproof method. Traditionally served for breakfast, our version of bagel is easy to make with my step by step instructions.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10 simits
Calories 370kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water at 110 F degrees (43 Celsius)
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature (or heavy cream)
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast Or 3 (1/4 oz.) packets
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (Canola, avocado, and grapeseed oil would all work)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (25 oz.) plus more for when kneading the dough and for the surface
  • 3 cups sesame seeds (12 oz.)
  • 7 tablespoons molasses diluted with 5 tablespoons of water

Instructions

  • Activate the yeast: Place water, milk, sugar, and active dry yeast into a measuring cup. Give it a quick whisk, cover it with stretch film, and let it sit on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbles form on top.
  • Make the dough: Place 5 cups (700 grams) of all-purpose flour, kosher salt, oil, egg, and now-risen yeast-milk mixture in a large mixing bowl. Start mixing by hand until it comes together. Lightly dust the counter with flour and transfer the dough onto the surface. Knead by hand to form a smooth and elastic dough until the dough is not sticking to your fingers. This may take around 15 -17 minutes.
  • Let the simit dough rise: Lightly wet a kitchen towel with hot tap water and place it over the dough. Let it sit on the kitchen counter until it doubles in size, 30-45 minutes.
  • Toast sesame seeds: While the dough is rising, place sesame seeds in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, and toast until they turn golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Transfer into a large shallow plate to cool.
  • Roll The Dough into a Cylinder: Fold the dough from each end onto itself towards the middle, gently pinch, and roll into a cylinder of roughly 20-inches (51 cm.)
  • Using a sharp knife or a pastry scraper, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, transfer onto a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper), and cover it with a clean kitchen towel (to prevent them from drying as you work on each piece)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Shape the dough and let it rest: Roll each dough ball into a roughly 40-inch (102 cm) long strand. Fold the string onto itself using your finger to hold it in the middle. Twist the dough in the opposite direction to form a spiral rope. Roll it into a 5-inch diameter ring and gently pinch the end to seal.
  • Transfer the now-shaped simits onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the same process for the rest of the dough balls. Let them rest until they rise for 30 minutes. How much they rise depends on the temperature of your kitchen. (You can learn more about this in the tips section below)
  • Mix together molasses with water in a large shallow plate. Bring in the sesame seeds. First, dip simit into the molasses mixture (on both sides) and then into the sesame seeds making sure that all sides are fully covered with sesame seeds. Transfer onto a baking sheet and repeat the same process for the rest of the limit.
  • Bake both sheets in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown making sure to rotate them from top to bottom halfway through the baking process. Let them cool for 5 minutes and serve while still warm.

Notes

  • To store leftovers: Bring simit to room temperature, place in a plastic bag, remove the air out as much as you can, and store at room temperature. It should be fresh for up to 2 days. You can toast it for a few minutes before serving.
  • To freeze: Repeat the same process but place in the freezer instead. When ready to serve, let it thaw for 10 minutes on the counter, and then heat it in a preheated 300 F degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
  • The shape doesn’t matter:  If this is your first time trying your hand in making this Turkish simit recipe and if your simit strands don’t look like the ones in the pictures, do not worry. I promise that they will look better as they rise, and regardless of their appearance, they will taste great after they are baked. You will get the hang of it after you make it a few times.
  • The temperature of the water & milk: For the active dry yeast to get activated, your water must be around 110 F degrees (43 Celsius), and your milk (or heavy cream) is at room temperature. If they are colder or warmer, the yeast might not get activated, and as a result, your simit Turkish bread might fall flat.

Nutrition

Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 499mg | Iron: 7mg