Simit

http://www.aturkishcookinamerica.com/recipes/Breads/simit/simit-baked%20013.jpg


INGREDIENTS:

  • 6.5 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1.5 cup home made starter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup sesame seeds preferably imported from Turkey
  • 1 egg-white

DIRECTIONS:

Making the Dough:

http://www.aturkishcookinamerica.com/recipes/Breads/simit/simit_by_tayfun_small.jpg
  1. Take your homemade bread starter out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before starting to make the simits. If there is any water accumulated on top stir it back into the starter with a spoon.
  2. Measure 1.5 cup of the starter into a small bowl and set it aside.
  3. To replenish the starter, add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to the container, mix and let stand at room temperature for one hour before putting it back in the refrigerator. This way, you can continue using the same starter for a long long time. It is important to remember that the starter will get stronger with time. After several months, you may completely skip the dry yeast, which is quite helpful for people with yeast intolerance.
  4. Mix the sugar, the dry yeast and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl and leave to froth for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, pour in the home made starter, remaining water and the foaming yeast. Work the mixture into a sticky dough using your hands. 
  6. Transfer the dough into the bowl of your stand-up mixer equipped with a dough hook and knead the dough for 6 minutes at the lowest speed. Since we have not added the salt yet, the dough will continue to be sticky as it becomes smooth and elastic.
  7. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 6 minutes.
  8. Add the salt and continue mixing at the lowest speed for another 6 minutes.
  9. On a floured surface, knead the dough into a large ball using your hands. 
  10. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl sprayed with olive oil, loosely cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in size (about 1.5 hours).


SimitSequence


Shaping the Simits:

  1. Using a kitchen scale divide the dough into 18 pieces weighing 100 gms each. Make smalls balls out of the pieces and place them in a bowl . Cover them with a piece of plastic wrap so they do not dry during this time.
  2. Flatten the balls to 1/2 inch thick circles.
  3. Roll each circle into a 11" - 12" long stick with a diameter about 1".
  4. Leave the rolled sticks on a lightly floured surface for 10 to 15 minutes.  Cover them with a piece of plastic wrap so they do not dry during this time.
  5. Twist the sticks before shaping them into rings. Twisting creates the "white valleys" that are trademarks of commercial simits, which are traditionally created by twisting two sticks together.
  6. Mix the molasses and the egg white with a whisk. Evenly coat the simits with the molasses/egg white mixture.
  7. Coat the simits with sesame seeds. The sesame seeds should easily stick to the simits.
  8. Preheat the oven to 405 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes with the baking trays in it. Place the simits on the hot trays and bake for 15 minutes. Turn them over and bake for another 4 minutes.
  9. Serve with tea and good quality, imported feta cheese.


Simit cartoon, made especially by Tayfun Akgül for Hatice, the St. Simit.


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