A typical Turkish pastry, which is often used as a snack, can undoubtedly be described as the simit or sesame ring, which is usually offered in street sales by small traders.
Almost always very fresh and therefore crunchy to the bite, it is a yeast pastry that is sprinkled with sesame seeds on the crust. Invented around 500 years ago in the Ottoman Empire, the pastry has spread to Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia in the Balkans. While the name for the Simit in Greece with "Koulouri" does not indicate its origin, the sesame rings in Bulgaria and Macedonia are called "Gewrek", just like they are called in the region around Izmir: "Gevrek".
When the crispy crust has partially cracked
In almost all cities in Turkey you can find street vendors who offer the sesame rings for sale from partially mobile vehicles or carts, usually fresh from the bakery, so that there is even residual heat. Sometimes they are also offered sliced and topped with cheese. Even in restaurants, sesame rings are a popular snack, traditionally served with black tea, feta cheese and olives. A sweet version is also available at any time of the day: with jelly or jam. However, the properties and manufacturing processes of the simit vary from region to region. One procedure is this: the risen yeast dough is first rolled into sausages and then formed into rings. Now the ring is immersed in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked in the oven. The regions, or rather the demands, differ here. While some customers want the completely closed sesame rings, the simit is traditionally considered genuine when the crispy crust has partially burst and the inner dough remains soft.
Simit or Gevrek recipe
So should you get an appetite for a simit or gevrek, which we highly recommend, keep an eye out for the quantity of sesame rings still for sale. Good Appetite.
Of course you can also make the Simit yourself. Here is a recipe that uses the measuring unit “water glass” in a typical Turkish way.
1 glass of water
1 glass of milk
1 glass of oil
1 cube of yeast
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg white
500 g flour, possibly a little more or less, depends on the size of the glass
Depending on your taste, some arrowroot flour (ararot) can be added
The sesame rings should be crispy brown
In the second method that we would like to address here, after the "rising", the dough is divided into balls and rolled out thickly. Then use a large glass (seen in terms of diameter) to cut out the circular shape of the squiggle. Then use a smaller glass to cut out the inner circle.
What remains is a ring, which results in the later gevrek or simit. The pieces of leftover dough can be kneaded again and used up to the end. However, some lovers also form these leftovers into sausages and then in a circle shape to carry out both production methods.
Even brief immersion in hot water is not done everywhere. The alternative method is to whip the egg whites and mix them with a little water until fluffy. Now take the cut out rings and dip them in the egg white. Then sprinkle with sesame, place on baking paper and bake in the oven at about 180° until the sesame rings are crispy brown.
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