Turkish Bagel with Sesame Seeds
7 gr dried instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour, unbleached
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water
For on top:
Some water in the medium size bowl
One bowl of sesame seeds
In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Stir well so the yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 15 minutes - it will become bubbly.
In the meantime, place flour, salt and olive oil in a bowl to prepare them for making the dough. Add the bubbly yeast mixture and 3/4 cup lukewarm water in it slowly while kneading. Put the dough on the counter and knead 15 minutes, until it becomes very smooth. Don't flour the counter to knead the dough!
Grab a large bowl and oil the inside with 1 tablespoon liquid oil. Put the dough inside (picture). Cover it with plastic saran wrap. Leave it at room temperature for about 1 hour for it to double in size (picture).
Put the dough on the counter and punch it to release the air. Give it a baton bread shape. Cut into 6 pieces with a knife and give each a ball shape (picture). Cover them with plastic wrap again. Let them rest for 20 minutes on the counter.
Make 40 cm long strips with each dough ball. Then stick the ends of the strips together to make a ring shape (picture).
Place some water in a large bowl* and dip the rings in it, then dip them into the sesame seed bowl. Cover them equally with sesame seeds (picture).
Place parchment paper on two oven trays. Arrange 3 rings on one and the other 3 on the other. Leave them like this for 45 minutes, they will rise more. If you don't want them as big, you can shorten the waiting time.
Preheat the oven to 450 F at least 20 minutes before you start baking. Spray some cold water on the sesame rings using a spray bottle, then place the two trays on the second rack of the oven side by side. After 7-8 minutes turn the heat down 425 F, this way they will become crunchy on the outside but soft inside. Bake for 18-20 more minutes and take them out. Serve them while they are warm.
Simit is generally served with feta cheese, olive oil and Turkish Tea for breakfast, supper or lunch. You can find it almost at every corner of the streets in Turkey, sold by street vendors, and you can also buy them off the shelf:)
This recipe makes 6 Simit.
* If you like, you can add 1 tbsp grape molasses in the water, I did not add it however.
** During baking, do not open the oven!
*** Simit is very delicious when they're fresh. After the first day you should store them in the fridge in sealed Ziploc bags for up to 3-4 days. Or you can also store them in the freezer for up to 3-4 weeks. To heat them up, place them in aluminum foil and broil in the oven for a few minutes.