Simit Bagel

 

Simit is a type of Turkish bagel, also very popular in all ex Ottoman empire countries. Nowadays we call it “gjevrek”, but that’s quite wrong, cause there is some difference between bagel and simit. We can say that bagels and simits are close cousins 🙂 In Macedonia, bagels are very popular food and simits are popular in the North-East part of the country, like Kriva Palanka.

 

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 3½ teaspoon active dry yeast (or 30 g fresh yeast)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • Around 1 cup lukewarm water

***1 cup flour is 165 g, 1 cup liquid is 235 ml

Topping:

  • 2-3 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water

 

Preparation:

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in ¼ cup warm water and let stand for 10 minutes in a warm place until foamy.
  2. Mix flour, yeast mixture, salt and water. Knead at least 15 minutes by hand, or 10 minutes by mixer, until the dough is very smooth. Put dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours.
  3. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured work surface, roll into a log, and divide into equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and let rest under a slightly damp towel about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll each ball into a 14 inch long rope. Hold down one end of the rope with one hand while twisting it with the other. Then form this twisted rope into ring, pressing and rolling the overlapping ends together on the work surface with one hand to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rest for 1 hour.
  5. Dissolve molasses in 1 cup water in a bowl. Put the sesame seeds in another bowl and set it next to the molasses water. Dip each “simit” in molasses water first, then in the sesame seeds, making sure the “simit” is completely and thickly coated with the seeds on all sides. Put it back on the baking sheet and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees (250 Celsius) 30 minutes before baking. Put a few cups of water in an oven-proof pan and place it at the bottom of the oven.
  7. Take each ring and rotate it gently through your hands, enlarging it into a 7-inch circle. Place the rings back on the baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes or until well puffed.
  8. Bake about 15-20 minutes until rich golden brown color.
  9. They are their best if eaten fresh when they’re out from the oven. You can also reheat them wrapped in foil to freshen them.

 

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