Turkish bagels: Simit

When I was little, there was a bakery next to our house that sold turkish bread and I used to go there everyday to buy it for the whole family. At first I went there with my grandfather, but as I grew older I went alone, and still, that divine smell of bread fresh out of the oven never ceased to amaze me. I swear,  in no other bakery I was able to find that aroma in the air, although I admit I’ve eaten better breads since then.

Along bread they also sold these bagels, that were completely covered in sesame and I remember all the kids were so nuts about them. We didn’t have Mc Donald’s back then and in my home town we still don’t have any fast food restaurant, so these bagels were the treat, my friends!

turkish bagels simit

Last week, as I was browsing a cooking magazine, I saw a recipe for some bagels and I was instantly reminded about these turkish bagels. So I baked them that very day, since you don’t need any fancy ingredients, and I had everything on hand.

dough for simit

If you have a standing mixer, the dough is pretty easy to make. If you don’t, you’ll do some exercise kneading the dough, which is not a bad thing I suppose.

dough for turkish bagels

Once the dough has risen for about one hour, you have to divide it in 10 equal parts.  ball of dough

Mine were about 80 grams each.

string of dough

Take each ball and roll it like a string, or a cord.

the bagel

Then, just press together the ends, and you have your first bagel. Now, do the same for the rest of the remaining dough.

turkish bagel in water with molasses

Take each bagel and dip it into the sweet water mixture for about 2 minutes on each side.

Then, cover the bagel in toasted sesame on both sides and place on a parchment paper or silicon mat in the tray. As you can see, I only covered my bagels with sesame on one side, but you can stick to the tradition and cover them on  both sides.

Once they were out of the oven, these simit bagels were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, so we ate them just like them, when they were still warm.

simit bagels

I would recommend to eat them the same day they are made, while they are still crunchy, since the next day they were soft on the outside. Still, you can cut the simit in section and reheat them, then spread some butter, and you can have a perfect and simple breakfast!

Afiyet olsun!


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Turkish bagels: Simit

By raluca007 Published: October 9, 2012

  • Yield: 10 bagels

Turkish bagels are crisp on the outside, fluffy inside, covered in toasted sesame and with a hint of sweet flavor from the molasses.



  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water, along with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. In the bowl of the standing mixer add the flour and the salt. Pour a little at a time the water over the flour and mix with the paddle attachment until everything is incorporated.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and keep kneading on minimum speed for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be hard at this point.
  4. Cover with cling film and place for one hour into the oven with the light turned on.
  5. Meanwhile, add the sesame to a skillet and toast it for 10 minutes on minimum heat, stirring continuously, until it has a golden color. Be careful not to burn the sesame seeds!
  6. Preheat your oven to 425 F/ 220C and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. After one hour, divide the dough into 10 parts equal in size, role each one into a cord and join the ends in order to form the bagels.
  8. Dissolve the 2-3 tablespoons of molasses/maple syrup into an equal amount of water, and dip each bagel on both sides for 2 minutes.
  9. Then, pass the bagels through the toasted sesame, covering them on both sides, and place them in a tray on a parchment paper/silicon mat. 4 or 5 bagels should be enough for one tray at a time.

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Comments: 8

  1. Hannah October 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm Reply

    Those look incredible- Way better than most bakery bagels, too. They’re a project I’ve been meaning to experiment with for the longest time, but find too intimidating to know where to begin. Perhaps this is the answer!

  2. Adriana @FoodCocktail October 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm Reply

    @Hannah – everyone loved these bagels, even my mom tried one and she was impressed. They aren’t that hard to make and they are great while still warm and with a crunchy crust.

  3. Tora October 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm Reply

    I love Simit! We had it almost every day when we were in Instanbul, will definitely make some, thank you so much for the recipe!

  4. Mine Karakus October 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article. I’m from Turkey. Simit, white (feta) cheese and black tea are inseparable trinity. Please try to eat with them.

  5. Vanessa Vardon December 28, 2012 at 1:09 am Reply

    Hi Adriana! I work for a recently launched simit cafe in NYC called SIMIT + SMITH. We specialize in authentic street style simit that are handcrafted. They’re absolutely delicious and we would be happy to send you over some to enjoy. Thanks for your recipe and great memories about simit!

  6. zosia December 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm Reply


    I am about to make these…but have realized that there is no oven temperature specified or length of time…Can you provide this information?

    Thanks so much and have a happy new year!

  7. raluca007 December 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm Reply

    Hi @zosia. I forgot to add this. The oven should be at 425 F/ 220 C. I hope I answered your question in time and all goes well. Happy new year to you too!

  8. Salam April 29, 2013 at 3:09 am Reply

    Just made these followed the exact recipe I just added a tablespoon of oil they came out perfect thanks for the recipe. To serve I warm the semit and serve with laughing cow cheese or kiri

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