The Greek Simiti / Koulouri

The Greek Simiti / Koulouri
The Simiti, the Greek Sesame Bagel is a very favorite bakery which is found as the ultimate in outdoor snack carts in the streets of Athens and beyond. A unique street food, loaded with as many memories as everyone carries.
With a simple yeast dough without milk and eggs, it is so fast and very tasty. We make these golden rings immersed first in molasses and then sprinkled with plenty of sesame seeds to take off deliciously.
They are done plump, double simiti and very fluffy. They are eaten accompanied with a classic feta cheese meze, caper, olives & tomato, all sprinkled with oregano. They are also cut horizontally and filled with what we like, like a sandwich.
Make your own simiti by yourself is much easier than you think.

work: 1h:30′ time: 2h:30′ medium:

The Greek Simiti / Koulouri The Greek Simiti / Koulouri

Ingredients (6 Simitis / Bagels)

  • 400g (14.1oz) flour
  • 250g (8.8oz) lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 130g (4.6oz) roasted sesame seeds
In the mixer bin, sift the flour with salt, pour a puddle and add the dry yeast. Pour a little lukewarm water and mix with a spoon to make it a slurry. Leave for 3'-4' and then fill the remaining water, oil and sugar.
Put on the mixer with the hook attachment and knead at medium speed for 10'. Make the dough a ball and put it back in the bin.
Cover it with a transparent membrane and a towel and leave it warm for 1 hour until it doubles in volume.
Scarcely scrub the workbench. Empty the dough, deflate it and fold it 3-4 times, forming a dough stick. Cut into 6 (or 8 if you want them smaller) equal pieces of dough.
Shape into balls and cover with transparent film. Allow them to inflate for a while.
Meanwhile prepare the molasses, which you dissolves in 4 tablespoons of water and the roasted sesame seeds in 2 large separate bowls.
Take a ball of dough and roll it into a long 70cm string. Fold it in two and holding the two edges with your hands turn the two cords to knit.
Bind the two edges to a round bun. Place each simiti on a flat surface and continue the same process with the remaining dough balls.
Grab one by one the doughty Simiti and dip first into molasses mixture to infuse well from both sides…
… and after in the bowl with sesame to be wrapped well everywhere.
Place them in a row on an iron plate on non-stick paper and at a distance from each other.
Bake in preheated oven with air at 200℃ (392℉, Gas Mark:5.7) for 20'-25' or until golden beautifully.
The Greek Simiti / Koulouri The Greek Simiti / Koulouri The Greek Simiti / Koulouri The Greek Simiti / Koulouri The Greek Simiti/ Koulouri

Roasted Sesame

In my recipes I often recommend the use of roasted sesame either outside the preparation or inside it. This so simple process increases its flavor and taste greatly.
☀ To roast the sesame we use a non-stick pan on a very low heat. We do not use fat. Stir it continuously and let it get a light golden hue and start spreading its aromas.

Author Z. G. Sifaki