Simit is a circle-shaped bread that can be considered Turkish fast food. I said fast food because you can find Turkish Simit on almost every corner of city centers in Turkey. It is such a popular street food that widely sells on the streets. It is also the cheapest way of filling your stomach in Turkey. If you see a fancy small food car on the streets of Turkey, the owner is probably selling Simit in it.
Simit does not only sell on the streets but also sells at pastry shops and cafes too. If you order it at pastry shops or cafes, order with a breakfast plate. You can find all sorts of cheese, salami, honey, butter, egg, tomato, and black olives on that plate. It is a delicious combination. Below you can see a common Turkish Simit breakfast plate.
The Story of Simit
According to the Üsküdar Şeriye records, which are dated 1593, Simit had been called Simidi_i Halka during the Ottoman Empire period. Some historians say that Simit was found in Bursa City (the first Ottoman Empire capital city) in the 14th century. During Sultan Süleyman’s period, a palace kitchen book shows that 30 Simit had been requested from the palace for the guests of the Sultan. The Palace books also show that during the whole Ramadan month, the palace kitchen was distributing Simit to the Soldiers who were waiting across the palace road to protect the palace.
As you see, Simit is a special bread for the Turks. If you already visited Istanbul or any other Turkish city before, probably you already know the taste of it. However, if you haven’t found a chance to visit Turkey yet, I am bringing this taste to you with this post.
Turkish Simit may look like a bagel or a donut for you, but the taste is definitely not. There is one special ingredient in this street food that gives the brown color and the main flavor to it. That ingredient is called grape molasses. Grape molasses is the key ingredient to making delicious Simit. Otherwise, it may taste like regular bread. Let’s make this delicious street food.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp grape molasses
In a bowl mix yeast, water, sugar and heavy cream. Then cover the bowl with moisture piece of cloth or kitchen towel and let the yeast to get activated in 10 minutes.
Mix yeast mixture, egg, 5 cups of flour, oil and salt, in another bowl, and mix them with your hand until they combined well.
Transfer the dough from the bowl to your floured counter surface and knead with your hands to form a smooth & elastic ball shape. This kneading may take up to 10 minutes but make sure the dough is smooth enough.
Again cover the dough with moisturized piece of cloth or kitchen towel and let rest the dough 30 minutes. And preheat the oven to 200 C.
Roll the dough into a cylinder shape of total 60 cm length and grab from the center of it and twist together the ends, holding from the loop at the top to make joint.
Pull the ends into a loop to make the fine ring. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough pieces.
Mix grape molasses with 2 tablespoons of water in a plate. And then dip each simit in the molasses and water mix.
After dipping the Simits to the molasses & water mix then dip each Simit into the sesame seeds. Make sure that each simit are fully coated with sesame seeds.
Put cooking paper to the oven tray and place the 6 simits on the tray and bake for 20 minutes at 240 C. Repeat the same process for the rest.
After all baked, let the Simits cool for minimum 5 minutes and then Serve.