If you have ever traveled to Turkey you may recall seeing Simit being sold on the streets and bakeries. My mom said they sell them on the streets in Macedonia, growing up she loved them so much. My husband says simit in Turkey are the best, yet we still never went there as a family, since I never traveled to these wonderful places I never got to try the street simit experience!
Just because I haven’t been doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy it from home! Sure it may not be exactly the same, but close enough! My mom likes her simit on the sweeter side, so for her I add a little more sugar to the dough. You may add less if you don’t like a sweet dough, its not like a dessert sweet, it kinda reminds me of the sweetness of a khalah bread.
The first time I made these, I added some water to the pekmez, it gave a light colour to the bread as you will see in the pictures below, the second time I didn’t dilute it, not only did it bake nicer, it tasted better too! Pekmez is a grape molasses it can come in pomegranate and cherry flavour as well, you can find them at your local Middle Eastern or Mediterranean store.
When making simit, I suggest to make them in the morning or when ever you plan to eat them, and enjoy them as soon as they bake as they are soft and tender. They are not the greatest the next day, I guess you can say most homemade breads are like that.
Another recommendation is that you make 6 to 8 simits. I tried making more, the smaller ones dry out quickly, and are not as soft, the bigger simit turn out perfect.
I tried making this with 3 full cups of flour, and they turn out good, the crust is crunchy and the inside soft, but when I make it with 1/4 cup less flour it turns out so soft, and I love soft bread. If you want a cruncher exterior add an additional 1/4 cup of flour.
Serve them with feta cheese, olives and pekmez, such a lovely breakfast or brunch food with a glass of tea you almost feel like you are in Turkey…almost.
What you will need:
- 2/3 cup warm milk
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 and 1/4 tsp yeast
- 3 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 and 3/4 cups flour
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup or more pekmez (grape, pomegranate or cherry molasses)
- 1 cup sesame seeds
Warm up the milk in a small pot, as well as the water. You don’t want it hot, just lukewarm, if you make dough regularly you know the temp the water needs to be. Test it with your finger, if it burns, its too hot, if its too cool warm it up again.
Pour the warm milk and water to the mixing bowl. Add in the yeast and sugar, allow for yeast to foam, takes about 5 minutes. Add in the flour and pinch of salt. Knead with dough hook if you are using your mixer. Drizzle olive oil so that it doesn’t get sticky.
Once dough is formed and is nice and smooth, allow to rest. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel. After an hour or so dough will double in size.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour pekmez in a bowl, and add sesame seeds in another bowl. Pull dough apart in 6 parts. Roll the dough (do not add flour to the surface), roll till it becomes a rope, then lift up both ends and twist. Close and attach ends, dip into the pekmez, then dip into the sesame seeds.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Bake for 13-18 minutes or until golden brown. I like to break one up and check if the bread is done baking. Enjoy!