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Greek sesame bagels (koulouri)

Also known as simit, this sesame-covered bread is sold by street vendors throughout Greece and has a secret ingredient for the best taste!
Course Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword Bagels, koulouri, Sesame, simit
Prep Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 325 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


  • 3 cups (450 grams) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (10 grams) fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water (not hot, because it will kill the yeast)

  • 1 cup (about 130 grams) whole sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the dry yeast, a couple tablespoons of flour (taken from the 3 cups), the sugar and mix well. Add the water, stir to combine and let it foam for 10-15 minutes.
  2. When it foams, add the rest of the flour, the tahini, the olive oil, the vinegar, and the salt. With the dough attachment, knead for at least 10-15 minutes, until a pliable and elastic dough is formed. Let the dough rise in a warm place until tripled in volume (about 2-3 hours depending on the temperature).
  3. Place sesame in a fine sieve, rinse with water and transfer to a wide plate. Mix it with a tablespoon of brown sugar and stir well. Line two pans with baking paper.
  4. Punch dough to deflate and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a strand, a little thicker than your index finger and pinch the ends to create a ring. Roll the rings into the sesame seeds, pressing gently to stick and transfer onto the baking pan.
  5. Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C) and let the bagels rest for about 15 minutes, until they rise slightly (you don't want them to double in size, because you'll end up with bread).
  6. Spray them with water and bake in a fan-forced oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. (If you don’t have a fan-forced oven, you will bake one pan at a time). Spray with water one more time half-way through baking. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack.
  7. Eat!