Turkish Fire
Alicia Taylor

I love these straight out of the oven, with some cream cheese and a cup of black tea. In Turkey, just about every street corner will have a vendor selling simits and shouting, ‘Simitçi! Simitçi!’


Quantity Ingredient
600g plain flour
7g dried yeast
pinch sea salt
pinch sugar
375ml warm water
270g sesame seeds
125ml pekmez, (see note)


  1. Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Sprinkle the yeast, salt and sugar into the well. Pour in 190 ml of the warm water and stir from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the dough; you will probably need to add the remaining warm water as you go.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it feels like your earlobe, about 10 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover and set aside to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size; this should take about 1 hour.
  3. If you have a wood-fired oven, this is the time to light your fire. Otherwise, preheat your oven to 200°C. Line three or four baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Punch the dough down lightly, then portion into walnut-sized pieces. Form each one into a bagel shape by making a hole in the middle and using your finger to widen out the hole — or you can roll each portion into a thin cigar and pinch the two ends together, into a bagel shape.
  5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds onto a tray. Brush each simit with the pekmez and coat well on both sides with sesame seeds. The simit will stretch and will end up with a diameter of about 12 cm. Place on another tray and allow to rest for 15–20 minutes, until risen slightly.
  6. Now bake in the wood-fired oven — or, if you are using a domestic oven, spray a little water onto the simits to create some steam to make them crusty. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. These are best enjoyed the same day.


  • Pekmez is a thick, sweet, dark purple syrup, similar in consistency to molasses, made by boiling down the juice of crushed grapes. You’ll find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again