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TURKISH SIMIT BREAD

Hey there! Still quarantining! Reminiscing about all the amazing places I've been to in the world & hoping this is all over soon so I can travel again! There are so many beautiful places in the world and I've been privileged from a young age to get on a plane and travel far and wide. Literally at a young age... my first trip was when I was just 40 days old! Well, I can tell you this, one of the most beautiful places in the world is Turkey. It's an interesting country with a culture mash of the conservative Middle East and the open-mindedness of Europe. The food there is also delicious! When I visited Turkey, one of my favorite things to eat was the Simit. There were even times when I transited from one flight to the other through the Istanbul Airport and I had to make sure to grab a few to go! It is amazing.

Simit is a delicious sesame-bathed, circular bread sold in bakeries and street carts all over Turkey, available any time and most anywhere. This twisted bread ring is coated with molasses and sesame seeds then baked until crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. You can also find similar breads in the surrounding countries. In the Middle East for example, a bread similar to simit called ka’ak, is very popular. Simit is kind of like a bagel, but they don’t include the boiling step that bagels require. Instead, you dip them into a thin molasses solution to adhere the sesame seeds before baking. This imparts a hint of sweetness but the resulting bread maintains its savoriness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast

  • 1 leveled tablespoon sugar

  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 3/4 cup molasses

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 cups sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Proof the yeast: In a large mixing bowl, add yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water, mix and let sit for 15 minutes, until yeast becomes frothy.

  2. Once proofed, add flour to the yeast mix.

  3. Then slowly add 1 1/2 cups of water.

  4. Knead the dough with your hands until you have a moldable and shapeable dough.

  5. Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to it. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it sit for an hour and a half till it doubles in size.

  6. When the dough has doubled, sprinkle some flour on the countertop, dump dough onto counter and knead into a thick tube shape.

  7. Cut dough into 7 equal size pieces.

  8. Sprinkle some more flour onto the countertop, and rub each piece into a long thin rope-like dough.

  9. Fold each rope-dough in half, then use your hands to twist together into a braid, twisting and stretching at the same time.

  10. Join the ends to make a circle and press to seal.

  11. In one shallow bowl, dilute together the molasses and water.

  12. In another shallow bowl, place the sesame seeds.

  13. Dip each ring into diluted molasses, make sure its covered on both sides. Drain well.

  14. Then, roll each ring in sesame seeds, turning gently to coat on both sides.

  15. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and place the rolls on the tray.

  16. When all rolls are on the tray, set aside to slightly puff up for 25 - 30 minutes.

  17. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  18. After the rolls have puffed, place in oven and bake until cooked through to a golden color, about 15 - 18 minutes.

  19. Transfer to serving plate and enjoy!

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