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A selection of Turkish breakfast buns, simit poğaça

Simit poğaça

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus at least 1 hr 30 mins proving and chilling
  • More effort
  • Serves 20 - 22

Make breakfast bun simit poğaça, filled with olives, cheese and herbs for all the flavours of a Turkish breakfast. They're delicious served with a cup of tea

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: Per serving (22)


  • 350ml whole milk
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (freeze the whites for another recipe)
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds

For the filling

  • 125g marinated black olives, pitted and chopped (see tip, below)
  • 125g feta, crumbled
  • 125g cheddar, grated
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 75g Turkish pepper paste


  • STEP 1

    Heat the milk in a heatproof bowl in the microwave or in a pan over a low heat until lukewarm. Add the yeast and sugar, then leave to stand for 15 mins until frothy. Tip the egg yolks, flour, butter and ½ tsp salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and add the warm milk mixture. Knead for 10 mins – the dough should be tacky. Or, knead by hand for about 15 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Cover and leave to prove for at least 1-2 hrs until doubled in size, or chill overnight. If you’re proving at room temperature, chill the dough for 30 mins after it has doubled to make it easier to work with.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine the olives, both the cheeses and the parsley, then set aside. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface into a large rectangle (about 46 x 30cm).

  • STEP 4

    Spread the pepper paste all over the dough. With a long side facing you, scatter the filling over the half of the rectangle that’s closest to you, then fold the other half over that to enclose the filling. Gently roll out the dough again to help the filling stick to the dough, then cut the rectangle vertically into 20 x 2½cm strips. Working with one strip at a time, fold the strip loosely in half, then holding it at both ends, twist, then gently pull the loose ends through the loop.

  • STEP 5

    Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Lay the simit on the sheet and brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle over the sesame and nigella seeds, then leave to rest on the baking sheet for about 20 mins.

  • STEP 6

    Bake for 25-30 mins, or until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly on the sheet before serving.

Recipe tip

Özlem uses Turkish black olives that are ‘marinated’ by drizzling them with olive oil and lemon juice. She also recommends sprinkling them with oregano and pul biber. If you can’t find Turkish olives, Özlem says other olives work, too.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2021


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A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratings

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