Simit recipe: Turkish bagels with sesame

simit recipe

The same temptation every morning –  the bakery a few houses away prepares the Turkish pastries and the apartment starts to smell like fresh bread. Sometimes you can bring yourself (or your husband) to quickly pick up the freshly baked simit at 7 o'clock. Incredible. Because not all simit are the same. You have to be quick here, because as the day progresses, the stores only sell hard, burnt sesame rings. Not what we mean by simit.


That's why you only buy really good simit in the morning. And only at the bakery. The Turkish sesame rings in the supermarket have nothing in common with the original.


The original simit is crispy on the outside with a sweet and nutty sesame crust and fluffy and soft on the inside. Incidentally, the sweetness in this Turkish dish comes from the grape syrup in which the sesame ring is dipped. This must be included in the original Turkish recipe.


But what if you didn't have to run to the nearest Turkish bakery for a fresh simit? What if you could immerse your whole home in the aroma of fresh bread yourself? Because we have an incredibly delicious and simple simit recipe for you! You can enjoy it for Turkish breakfast or as a snack. This is a 100% vegan and original recipe. At the same time, our Turkish sesame rings taste like fresh from the bakery.


Crispy, fluffy, sweet, nutty – a poem.

The right dough for simit

In Turkish, it is said that a dough should have the consistency of an earlobe. This makes a lot of sense, because a grip on the earlobe really does show you the ideal consistency. Very soft, but at the same time firm. The dough may stick to your hands a little. This is no problem. Dip your hand in water and shape the dough into a ball at the end. The dough pieces don't have to be perfectly round either. Here it is important that you stay relaxed. Baking is fun. Baking simit is even more fun. :-)

simit recipe turkish

Grape syrup in the Simit recipe: alternatives

To be honest, we don't recommend replacing the grape molasses. You can find the so-called "üzüm pekmezi" in Turkish supermarkets, online* or in well-stocked supermarkets. It may also work with date syrup, sugar molasses, etc. But we can't guarantee anything in terms of taste.


Some Turkish recipes coat the simit with egg and sprinkle it with sesame seeds. You can try it, but the sweet taste will be lost. So for the original simit recipe you need the pekmez.

simit recipe


Simit recipe: Crispy Turkish sesame begals

Ingredients (for 6 simit):

  • 400 ml/little less than 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 650 grams/5 cups flour
  • 1 sachet of dry yeast (or 1/2 a yeast cube)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 0,5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil  

For the sesame coating:

  • 4 tbsp grape syrup/üzüm pekmezi
  • 100 ml/0,5 cup water
  • 6 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Tip: You can carefully toast the sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat beforehand for more taste.
simit recipe


Step 1: Put the water, yeast, oil, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix everything well until the yeast dissolves.

Step 2: Slowly add the flour and keep kneading. The dough should be smooth and not too firm. If it is a little sticky, this is no problem. 

Step 3: Leave the dough to rise for approx. 40 minutes.

Step 4: Prepare the mixture of grape syrup and water in a bowl. Put the sesame seeds in another bowl.

Step 5: After the dough has risen, flour your hands and form 12 equal-sized dough pieces. You can also form more if you want smaller sesame rings. The dough pieces do not have to be perfectly round.

Step 6: Always use two pieces of dough for one simit. To do this, roll and pull each piece of dough into a long sausage. Glue the two dough sausages together at one end. Now wrap them around each other. You can see how this works in the picture above. Once you have wrapped the dough sausages, stick them back together at the ends and form the circle. Now do the same with the other pieces of dough.

Step 7: Now dip one sesame ring at a time in the water and syrup mixture and roll it in the sesame seeds. Then place it on the baking tray with baking paper. Leave the sesame rings to rise for another 20 minutes.

Step 8: Bake the sesame rings in a preheated oven at approx. 190 C°/380 F° until golden brown. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Step 9: Take the simits out of the oven and enjoy them warm.

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