The greek name for the sesame bread ring is ‘Koulouri’. It is still the most commonly available street food in Greece – even more than souvlaki and is sold everywhere, in bakeries or in small stands on the streets. It is usually in a simple ring form but you may also find it twisted or braided.
Our son likes them a lot, so we decided to start exploring recipes, different shapes and coatings. We ended up in the following variant, which is simple and very tasty.
- 500g all purpose flour
- 2Tbsp sugar
- 1tsp sea salt
- 16g dry yeast dissolved in 4 Tbsp of lukewarm water
- 1,5 cups water (or more if necessary)
- 1,5 cups sesame seeds (you can also use black sesame seeds or poppy seeds or mix them together)
- 2 Tbsp of grape molasses (or 2 Tbsp sugar)
- 1 cup of water
Add the sugar to the dissolved yeast and stir. Set aside for about 10 minutes until frothy.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour with the salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture. Add the water and using the hook attachment mix on low speed for about 5-6 minutes until an elastic and soft dough forms. Add some more water or flour if necessary.
Brush a clean, large mixing bowl with oil, add the dough, cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan)
Prepare the coating by dissolving the grape molasses (or the sugar) in 1 cup of water in a shallow bowl. Spread the sesame seeds in a shallow pan.
Lightly grease the kitchen counter or other work surface with some olive oil. Place dough on surface and divide into 10 balls.
Roll each dough ball out into a rope approx. 45-50cm long. Bring the two edges together to form a circle.
Dip each bread ring into the bowl of water and molasses or sugar mixture, and directly into the other bowl with the sesame seeds making sure to cover it on all sides.
Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet , being careful not to place them too close together as they continue rising during baking. I usually bake them in 2 or 3 batches.
Bake for about 15 minutes on the middle shelf of your oven, turning the tray around once halfway through baking, until golden brown all over.
Eat warm or in room temperature with all kinds of cheese or with butter and honey or jam.