A Quick and Easy Simit Recipe

Our freezer is beginning to overflow with goodies I’ve been
preparing in advance for our up-coming Christmas celebrations. I’ve already made – and froze – lule kebab, mini lahmajouns (short-cut version), manti (long version), a variety of cookies, and now, simit. There’s still plenty of cooking to do, but those recipes must be prepared just before company

I’ve posted several simit recipes in the past but decided
to try Deegeen (Mrs.) Makrouhi’s version. Hers is simple, doesn’t take very long to
make (no yeast involved), and has a very nice texture. Doug said it reminded
him of a smaller version of his mother’s choreg. I took that as a huge
First tray of Simit – more to make!
I added my own touch to the simit recipe – meaning that I incorporated my usual choreg spices into the dough. (See recipe below).

When it’s time to serve, I’ll have a plate of string
cheese, olives, and basterma to round it out!

Simit (adapted from Deegeen Makrouhi’s recipe)
Yields about 40 (1-oz.) pieces

1 cup corn oil
1 cup milk (I used fat free)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. freshly ground mahlab
1 tsp. ground fennel seed
1 tsp. ground anise seed
6 cups flour
Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten
Garnish: toasted sesame seeds and/or black
sesame seeds, optional
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together (except
for egg wash and garnishing options) to form a workable, non-sticky dough.

NOTE: If you have a food scale, pinch
off some dough and weigh 1-ounce pieces, rolling them into balls. If you don’t
have a food scale, pinch off pieces about the size of a golf ball.

On an un-floured work surface, roll each ball by hand into a
nine-inch rope. Twist each rope into a simple braid and place it on an ungreased
baking sheet. These don’t spread, so you can place them fairly close together.

Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or
black sesame seeds, if desired. 
Bake at 375 °F for about 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven) or until golden

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