Yeast Breads

Simits


Prep Time : 40 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! I hope you all had your best Christmas in the fashion that suited you. I know carbs are unfashionable in January. So we’re sneaking these fluffy golden treats in before the door closes. I had flagged this recipe in one of my favourite books ages ago but didn’t get around to making them until I was listening to the Modernist Breadcrumbs podcast a few weeks ago and they were talking about simits. I went back to the recipe, made a few tweaks according to what I had heard and immediately fell in love. It’s not hard for me to love a good bread. These are fluffy and soft and milky inside and golden and chewy and sweet/salty on the outside. They have everything in one bite.

They’re best eaten warm just after baking and stay fluffy the rest of that day. To be honest they were still absolutely delicious the next day when they had firmed up and had more chew. I’ve eaten them as snacks on their own, as a side to salads and dipped in various sweet and salty things. They’re traditionally eaten dipped in oil and dukkah but if you use your imagination you won’t be disappointed.

Making the dough is simple. Mix the flour, milk powder, salt and the sugar (reserving about half a teaspoon of sugar) in a large bowl.

Mix the half teaspoon of sugar into the warm water and sprinkle over the yeast. When it’s good and foamy add the yeast liquid and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix to a dough.

Tip the dough out and knead until smooth and elastic – about 6 to 8 minutes. You can easily do this in a mixer but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go to far.

Pop the dough in a bowl, cover and leave to double in size.

Divide the dough into 8 to 12 even pieces. I like the smaller size – it’s a good amount of snack for me. Roll each piece into a ball and line them up.

Starting with the first ball you rolled (to give each bit of dough time to relax) make a hole in the centre with your finger.

Stretch the dough gently until you can get a finger from each hand inside and then use your hands to ease the circle bigger and bigger. You should be able to get them to about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm) in diameter the first go before the dough resists you too much. Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper leaving lots of room. I can get six small ones on one sheet.

When you’ve done them all go back to the first one and stretch it again. the dough ring should be about as thick as your finger. Lay the rings on the tray again so they are elongated into an oval.

Leave the simits to double in size again. When they are ready to bake heat the oven to 200C (395F). Mix the egg and pomegranate molasses together to make a sweet egg wash. Brush all the simits generously with the wash. Sprinkle them with a lot of sesame seeds and flaky/coarse salt.

Bake the simits for 8 to 12 minutes depending on size – they should be puffed up and dark golden on the outside.

Transfer the simits to a wire rack and eat them as soon as you won’t burn yourself!

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Simits


Prep Time : 40 mins | Cook Time : 15 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Makes : 8 large or 12 mini simits

Soft rings of warm bread coated with a sweet and salty crust of sesame seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (280 grams) warm water
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
  • 500 grams all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (60 grams) full fat milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 15 grams fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) melted butter (or olive oil)

To finish:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses or honey
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • coarse or flaky salt

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Bowls and spoons
  • 2 cookie sheets lined with baking paper

Directions:

Making the dough is simple. Mix the flour, milk powder, salt and the sugar (reserving about half a teaspoon of sugar) in a large bowl.

Mix the half teaspoon of sugar into the warm water and sprinkle over the yeast. When it’s good and foamy add the yeast liquid and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix to a dough.

Tip the dough out and knead until smooth and elastic – about 6 to 8 minutes. You can easily do this in a mixer but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go to far.

Pop the dough in a bowl, cover and leave to double in size.

Divide the dough into 8 to 12 even pieces. I like the smaller size – it’s a good amount of snack for me. Roll each piece into a ball and line them up.

Starting with the first ball you rolled (to give each bit of dough time to relax) make a hole in the centre with your finger.

Stretch the dough gently until you can get a finger from each hand inside and then use your hands to ease the circle bigger and bigger. You should be able to get them to about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm) in diameter the first go before the dough resists you too much. Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper leaving lots of room. I can get six small ones on one sheet.

When you’ve done them all go back to the first one and stretch it again. the dough ring should be about as thick as your finger. Lay the rings on the tray again so they are elongated into an oval.

Leave the simits to double in size again. When they are ready to bake heat the oven to 200C (395F). Mix the egg and pomegranate molasses together to make a sweet egg wash. Brush all the simits generously with the wash. Sprinkle them with a lot of sesame seeds and flaky/coarse salt.

Bake the simits for 8 to 12 minutes depending on size – they should be puffed up and dark golden on the outside.

Transfer the simits to a wire rack and eat them as soon as you won’t burn yourself!

Cook’s Notes:

  • Stretch the simits bigger than you think they need to be – they will puff in the oven and you want to keep a large oval hole in the middle.
  • Don’t overload the trays – the simits cook quickly so doing two batches takes no time at all and you won’t get them sticking together.

 – These simits are best soon after baking but are still delicious the next day – for longer keeping freeze the simits straight away to thaw and reheat when needed – 

Adapted from Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft.

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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