Simit (Turkish Sesame Bread)

5 from 2 votes

This authentic Simit recipe uses just a handful of ingredients and is deceptively simple. These twisted, sesame coated bread rings are a Turkish street food similar to a bagel, but fluffy on the inside with a sweet crunchy exterior of molasses and sesame seed that makes a fantastic light breakfast, quick snack, or dippable appetizer!

tower of simit turkish bread in a bowl

Simit is a kind of Turkish sesame bread that you can find almost anywhere in Turkey — it’s one of their favorite street foods! And it’s no wonder why. It has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor, addictive crunchy crust, and pillowy soft interior that you can’t find in any other bread.

While it looks like a Turkish bagel, it’s really just your average bread dough dressed up in a delicious molasses and sesame coat. It’s commonly enjoyed for breakfast with a handful of veggies, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, or with cheese. 

You can also tear it into pieces and dip it into some of your favorite spreads and sauces. Try it with Tirokafteri, a deliciously tangy feta cheese spread. It would also be delicious alongside a Homemade Tahini Dip or Red Pepper Dip.

Or just quickly scoop up some cream cheese with your Turkish bagel and begin your day!

Sesame Bread Rings being pulled apart


  • All Purpose Flour – A very accessible flour that makes a fluffy, tender bread. 
  • Sugar – To make our Turkish bagels both sweet and rich in flavor.
  • Instant Yeast – This yeast helps the dough rise quickly.
  • Salt – Salt doesn’t just add flavor — it gives the bread volume and helps it keep its shape.
  • Warm Water – It’s important to use warm water to help make the bread both smooth and fluffy.
  • Vegetable Oil – To help make the bread moist. You can swap out with canola oil, which has fewer saturated fats, if preferred.
  • Grape Molasses – We’ll coat our Turkish sesame bread in this fruity sweetener. You can also use pomegranate molasses — I’ve tried this simit recipe with both, and each version is delicious.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – Easily toast your own at home over medium heat, or buy pre-toasted.
mixing and kneading dough
images of shaped dough


  1. Add All Ingredients. Sift the flour and add to a stand mixer bowl along with the sugar, yeast, and salt. Make an indent in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the center.
  2. Form the Dough. Using the dough hook attachment, mix to form the dough. Knead with the dough hook until the mixture smooths and picks up all of the remnants within the bowl. 
  3. Let Rise & Prep Toppings. Cover and let sit for about an hour while it rises, doubling in size. While it rises, mix together the molasses and water. In a separate, shallow dish, add the toasted sesame seeds. Set aside.
bread rings coated with molasses and sesame seeds


1. Divide. Punch down the risen dough and cut into 16 equal pieces. Take 2 of the pieces and flatten them into small rectangles. With the palms of your hands, roll these pieces into tubes that are 20” long.

2. Shape Into Braided Rings. Lay the 2 tubes beside each other and pinch their edges together. Twist the two ends in opposite directions into a braid-like rope. Bend the rope into a circle and pinch the two ends together to form a ring. Place the ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and repeat with the remaining pieces until you have 8 rings total.

4 coated simit rings on a pan

3. Coat the Bread. Dip each ring into the molasses bowl, then in the sesame seeds to coat. Return to the baking sheet.

4. Let Rise. Cover and let sit for another 20 minutes while the rings rise once more. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400°F.

5. Bake & Enjoy! Bake for 14 minutes, and allow to cool briefly before serving.

close up image of Turkish simit

Is simit a bagel? 

While it appears to be just a Turkish bagel at first glance, it’s actually a completely different type of bread. Bagels are boiled then baked, and are rather dense.

This braided Turkish sesame bread, by comparison, is light and fluffy. It’s made using the same process as your average bread: it’s made with yeast and rises twice. It’s simply shaped into a ring, and looks like a bagel.

What do you eat with simit? 

Turkish sesame bread is often eaten as a simple, light breakfast alongside cheese and vegetables. As a street food, it’s served plainly, and sometimes used to scoop up dips. You can also slice it and use it for sandwiches!

Can I freeze simit dough? 

Yes, you can. If freezing to bake later, I recommend freezing after the first rise and once you shape the dough into rings, but before it rises for a second time — so just before step 4 of my simit recipe.

When ready to bake, let thaw in the refrigerator as it completes its second rise. Then, go ahead and pop into the oven.

rings of simit stacked on a plate

This post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes February, 2021, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in May, 2022.

Still Hungry?

Subscribe to my Newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for all my latest recipes and videos.

Turkish Simit (Sesame Bread Rings)

5 from 2 votes
Try your hand at this authentic Turkish simit recipe for the warmest, fluffiest, and most delicately sweet sesame bread rings ever.
Servings: 8
Prep: 36 mins
Cook: 14 mins
Dough Rise: 1 hr 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water (plus 1-2 tbsp more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • 1/4 cup grape molasses (See Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups toasted sesame seeds (See Note 2)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer sift in the flour then add the sugar, yeast and salt. Make a small well in center and add the wet ingredients (warm water and vegetable oil).
  • Mix using a dough hook until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water if too wet, add a tablespoon of flour.
  • Knead the dough using the dough hook for about 8 minutes until it’s no longer sticky. The dough should completely clean the inside of the bowl.
    photo collage shows steps in making a Turkish bread recipe
  • Cover with linen towel and let it rise for 1 hour (it doubles in size).
  • Place sesame seeds in large shallow dish. Whisk together the molasses with water. Set both aside.
  • After 1 hour, punch the dough down and divide it into 16 pieces. Roll out 2 pieces into 20 inch tubes (like a breadstick).I first form the dough piece into a rectangle shape and starting from the center using both hands open, press and roll to yourself while spreading fingers to stretch dough. Repeat over and over along the dough to form long pieces.
    braiding bread dough and forming circles with it
  • Lay them parallel to each other. Pinch each end together to hold and then twist the dough in opposite directions to make spiral twist. Bring both the ends together and pinch them to make a ring. Set aside on parchment lined baking sheet.Repeat with the remaining 14 pieces to make 7 more rings.
  • Using one hand dip each ring in molasses mixture, turning to coat then in sesame seeds. Be sure to completely coat in sesame seeds. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining rings.
    dipping yeast dough into molasses and sesame seeds
  • Cover loosely with linen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Bake for 14 minutes until golden brown. Best eaten after cooled slightly or allow to cool completely and store in airtight container or wrap in bag and seal.



  1. Traditionally grape molasses is used, but I have also used pomegranate molasses.
  2. If you do not have toasted sesame seeds, toast the sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat, until golden, for several minutes.


Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 376mg | Iron: 8mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Bread
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image; Turkish simit sesame bread rings


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

Free Bonus
Kevin's Guide to Amazing International Cooking
My secrets to authentic & delicious international recipes

Explore More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Brings back so many memories of living in Istanbul and hearing “Simitci” coming down the street. We’d lower the basket and bring up fresh Simit for our afternoon snack with Turkish tea. I love this site – it feeds the Mediterranean blood in me. Thank you for the recipe!