About 5 months ago, after our holiday in Istanbul, Ross and I started making and selling simit. These delicious sesame-encrusted Turkish bread-rings, along with the incredible power of Instagram, have fueled a great adventure into the foodie world, as well as introducing me to amazing new friends along the way. One of these friends is Cape Town-based baker and food blogger, Ben Orkin.
Ben and I met on Instagram, our paths crossing due to our common interest – food. Seeing as we both love baking and taking photo’s of what we make, we decided it’d be a good idea to hang-out and bake together.
Our first time baking together, Ben showed me how to make a beautiful Challah. The enriched-dough loaf is possibly one of the most attractive looking breads out there, along with simit of course.
I am kind of mad at myself for not taking photos that day, which is the first OFFICIAL Sunday Baking Club meeting (yeah, we’re in a club now – cool huh?!). I’ve numbered this as the first ever post, but in actual fact it is the second Sunday Baking Club meeting – just thought I’d fill you in. Much of a muchness I guess : )
To celebrate our awesome new club Ben and I baked some simit (and I got to see all his cool props and baking gadgets).
S I M I T
prep time | 10 minutes (excl. 15 minutes kneading, 2 hours proving)
baking time | 20 minutes
makes | 6
10g instant yeast
45ml sunflower oil
250ml tepid water
60ml grape molasses (maple syrup works well if you can’t find molasses)
sesame seeds, for rolling in
Sift your flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the oil and sprinkle over the yeast, mixing in well. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the tepid water. Using your hands, bring the dough together and turn out onto a floured work surface to knead till the dough is smooth (about 15 minutes). Oil the bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel and let it prove for an hour, till double in bulk.
Add the 60ml water to the molasses and transfer it into a large bowl. Knock back your dough and scale it off into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 50cm long sausage, double it over and twist to braid, bringing and working the ends together to seal off the ring.
Braid all 6 rolls, dip them in the molasses, roll in sesame seeds and set aside on a baking tray to prove for another hour. Place them quite far apart as you don’t want them to touch when they bake!
Preheat the oven to 220°C and when ready bake the simit for about 25 minutes or till hollow when tapped underneath.
halving + twisting the dough
Simit go down really well plain, with a cup of Turkish çay (tea) or with some feta, tomato paste, olives, pastrami etc. We make some mean sandwiches with these bad-boys and sell them at the Oranjezicht City Farm market every Saturday in Cape Town too.
Keep an eye out for the next Sunday Baking Club – we’re tempted do go a little sweeter next time 😉