Sesame Bagels – Gevrek, similar to a bagel, or even a soft pretzel, is a chewy, yet soft bread-snack, shaped into a ring, dipped in honey and water, topped with sesame seeds and baked.
Hey! Happy Monday!
Now, now… Friday will be here soon. Let’s enjoy the week, and start it with a Gevrek! I should probably teach you how to pronounce that. Okay… hmmmm… let’s try gjev-wreck. I think.
I run, what one might call, an eclectic kitchen. Multi-ethnic, if you will.
Now, before I go to claim Gevrek as solely Macedonian, allow me to tell you that it is not. It belongs to everyone on the Balkans, and beyond, but as far as I know, they belong mostly to the Turks. It’s their thing, but we all have our different spin on it.
The difference in a Macedonian Gevrek (Bagel) is that, unlike the others, we don’t dip it in molasses; we use honey. Also, our Gevrek is more like a soft pretzel. It’s soft, and nowhere near as dense as the Turkish one, which might even be mistaken for a bagel. To add, Turks like to enjoy their Gevrek, or Simit, with jam and tea. Macedonians, on the other hand, reach for some plain yogurt and dip it, just as you would dip a soft pretzel in cheese.
This little treat takes a bit of time to make. And it wants love. You can’t rush it. You need to love it, respect it, and take your time with it. I have made these on multiple occasions, and I’m still learning. I know, it’s in the technique. I get it.
I like our little bloggy system here, don’t you? I get to cook for you, teach you a thing or two about different cuisines, take photos of it, and you get to read and drool! I really hope I’ve made you drool at least once during your stay(s) here. 😉
If you have a free moment, or an entire morning, make these. You’ll kiss yourself for it.
- 3½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sesame seeds
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and warm water; let stand 10 minutes, or until frothy.
- Add flour, salt, and 1 cup water to yeast mixture.
- Mix until combined. You may need to mix with your hands.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 minutes by hand, or 10 minutes by heavy-duty mixer, until the dough is very smooth.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel; let stand for 2 hours.
- Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead it for 5 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a log and cut it into equal pieces.
- Form each piece into a ball and let rest under a towel for 30 minutes.
- Roll each ball into a 10-inch long rope.
- Form the rope into a ring, pressing the overlapping ends together to seal.
- Place on a greased baking sheet and let rest 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together honey and 1 cup of water.
- Put the sesame seeds on a flat plate.
- Dip each ring of Gevrek in honey-water first, then in the sesame seeds, completely coating the Gevrek with the sesame seeds on all sides.
- Continue with the rest of the dough and transfer them all back to the baking sheet; let rest 30 minutes.
- Take each ring and rotate it gently through your hands, enlarging it into about a 6-inch circle.
- Place the rings back on the baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve plain or with a side of yogurt.