Jerusalem Bagels "Simit" at Home

Since I am no longer afraid of yeast, I decided to make "Simit", a circular Middle Eastern bread also known as Jerusalem Bagels.

These are not traditional bagels, which are boiled and steamed first before going in the oven......these are just bagels in shape.   

Traditional Middle Eastern versions have molasses in the dough, this recipe uses sugar.

I saw a tutorial at 8:30 am, and by 11:30 am, I was eating these warm out of the oven.

Once you get the hang of it, they are fairly simple to make.

Eaten warm, no shmear needed (they are too thin to cut), these are heavenly.

Dipping in z'atar and good olive oil is the best way to serve them.

I used a mixture of black and white sesame seeds, along with a few shakes of 
organic "everything bagel" spice blend.

Here is the link to Jamie Geller's video and recipe, so watch it before you make them.

My dough was very sticky, and I had to keep adding flour to the board while kneading it, but eventually it came together.

Jerusalem Bagels (Simit): (adapted from Jamie Geller)

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • Topping:
  • Cold water
  • Sesame Seeds (bagel spice is a great addition)
  • Olive oil (for brushing)
  • Z'atar (for dipping)
  • Add sugar, yeast, salt, olive oil and warm water to a large mixing bowl and stir.
  • Gradually add in flour until the dough begins to form.
  • Move dough onto a floured flat surface and knead for 5 mins until no lumps are left in the dough (mine was very sticky).
  • Place dough back into the mixing bowl (oil the bowl lightly so that the dough doesn't stick to it). Cover with a towel.
  • Put a full glass of water into the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes (see her video tutorial, it is very helpful).
  • Move the glass into the corner of the microwave, put the covered bowl with dough inside, close the door and leave to rise for 45 minutes. This is a quick trick to rise the dough fast. Otherwise, let the dough rise on the counter for an hour and a half or until at least doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  Put the dough on the counter and separate into tennis ball shapes (if dough is still sticky, just wet your hands). 
  •  Using two fingers, make a hole in the middle of the circle then stretch it out into a large circle.  Dip the circles in cold water then cover completely in sesame seeds.  Place on a baking sheet and let it rest for 10 mins.
Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.  Brush generously with olive oil as soon as you take them out of the oven.
  • Serve with olive oil and z'atar for dipping.
  • So good!


Anonymous said…
can these be made with 1/2 whole wheat or white whole wheat flour? Would more water be needed?
Stacey Snacks said…

Yes, I don't see why not. The dough is very sticky to begin another tablespoon of water would be fine, if needed.

Anonymous said…
WOW! I made a sourdough starter successfully in April during the covid quarantine and the bread was heavenly, so sounds like this could be my next project! Thanks for idea and recipe. They look yummy!