Breads (Sourdough) - Other Breads

Sourdough Simit

August 16, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

Sourdough Simit

Sourdough Simit

Sourdough Simit

Simit is a circular bread in Turkey, typically encrusted with sesame seeds and normally eaten for breakfast or tea time.  It is widely known as Turkish bagel in the United States.  

I have seen a lot of bakers trying to bake yeast based or sourdough Simit.  They look so temptingly delicious and I have no regret of trying it.   I used the Yudane Method in this recipe as I wanted the texture to be moist, soft and slightly chewy.  Please click "Bread Making Method" to understand more details on Yudane Method.

These Sourdough Simit are tasty! They have a soft and chewy texture inside with richly coated toasted sesame seeds giving it a lovely fragrantly nutty crust.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.


Yields:  6 simit 


Yudane Dough:
80g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
80g boiling water

Main Dough:
250g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
140g sourdough starter (I used young discard)
All the yudane dough (above)
30g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 1/2 tsp (8g) salt
120g water (reserve 20g and add in gradually if needed), I used all 120g
30g vegetable oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)

40g molasses  (I used dark brown sugar as I do not have molasses)
120g hot water
150g white sesame seeds, toasted

Baking tray

  1. Yudane @ 3.30 pm:  
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon until no dry flour.
    2. Cling film and use at least 4 hours later.  You can prepare a day before and place in the fridge and Take out from the fridge 30 minutes before using to return to room temperature.
  2. Main Dough @ 8.30 pm:
    1. Put all ingredients into a bowl of stand mixer.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the paddle attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated. 
    3. Change to hook attachment and knead for about 10 - 12 minutes or until the dough comes together, elastic and smooth. It is not required to check window pane stage as it is not soft sandwich loaf or buns. The whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
  3. 1st Proofing @ 9.00 pm:  
    1. Round up the dough and place back in the same bowl, keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid. Let the dough proof for about 2 hours on the counter (at room temperature 27C).   The dough rose about 50% in size.
    2. Transfer to fridge @ around 11.00 pm and cold retard overnight for 12 - 15 hours.
  4. Prepare Coating Ingredients @ 10.00 am:
    1. In a mixing bowl, combine molasses/brown sugar and hot water.  Stir well and set aside to cool.
    2. Toast the white sesame seeds in a pan over low medium heat until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Shaping @ 10.30 am:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide dough into 12 equal portions (approx. 60g each). Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.  Form each portion to a ball.  Rest for 15 minutes.
    2. Flatten 2 balls.  Roll each dough like a swiss roll. Then roll each dough to a long strand (about  35cm).  
    3. Please watch the video "How to shape Simit"  
    4. Place the simit onto the baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.  Total 6 Simit.
  6. Coating:
    1. Dip simit in the molasses mixture, then inside the sesame until cover all over.
    2. Place back in the lined baking tray.
  7. Final Proofing @ 12.00 pm:
    1. I made marks with a pencil between 0.5 - 0.75 cm away from the original size of the simits.  Let them proof at a warm place until the dough rise and reach the pencil marks.   It took about 2 hours at 29C room temperature. The duration of proofing depends on your ambient temperature and starter.
  8. Baking @  2.00 pm:
    1. Preheat oven at 220C (top & bottom heat) or 200C (fan-forced) for 15 minutes.
    2. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
    3. Remove simit from oven and let them cool on rack.

Yudane Dough

Main Dough



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 

If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.


Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.