Sunday, August 11, 2013

Traditional Istanbul Simit by Aysegul Abay

Traditional Istanbul Simit (Savory roll covered with sesame seed)
2 1/2 cups of warm water 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast 1 tablespoon of salt 2.2 lb of bread flour 1/2 cup of grape molasses 1/2 cup of water 1 tablespoon of flour 1 package of roasted sesame (1/2 lb or more)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour warm water into your kneading bowl and add yeast. Let it rise for ten minutes, add 1 tablespoon salt then the flour gradually, knead the mixture until you get a smooth dough texture. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let the dough rest at least half an hour in a warm place. Whisk 1/2 cup of grape molasses, 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of flour together in a deep bowl, pour a package of sesame into a flat pan. After resting and rising take two walnut big of pieces from your dough and put them into stick shape. Thinner is better if possible. Then take two dough sticks, twirl them and make a spiral, bond two edges together. (So you are gonna have a hoop ) First dip the hoop into the water-molasses mixture gently and then dip into the sesame, all sides of the hoop must be covered with sesame. Repeat the process until you are out of dough, although it depends on size of pieces you grab, this amount of dough allows you to make 9-10 hoops generally. Place the hoops gently in your pan, bake 15-20 minutes, do not overcook. By checking golden brown crust colour decide to bake 15 or 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a plate, with a cup of tea, a piece of white cheese (or any kind of cheese you like), some olives in a nice virgin olive oil, a boiled egg, some cherry tomatoes and cucumber. And voila here is the traditional Turkish breakfast! You can have it anytime during the day :))

And also I want to give an easy dipping sauce recipe, it's called Tarator it matches 'simit' nicely. Grill two red bell peppers and two tomatoes, after grilling peel them and put in your blender, run your blender until you get nicely smooth texture. In a saucepan roast 1/2 cup of wallnuts then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add a piece of garlic, 1 tablespoon red pepper paste, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt keep whisking the mixture occasionally, then pour the grilled pepper-tomato puree into the saucepan, cook until thicken. Let it cool till room
temperature add some chopped fresh thyme then it is ready for dipping.

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