The first time I had a tahini bread roll I was in Cyprus. It was summer and extremely hot, so we found shade in the outdoor garden of a local Simit Dunyası and ordered one of these.
When I tasted it I could not believe that I had spent 5 months in Turkey without eating one of them. The smooth tahini paste rolled inside flaky, sweet dough makes this pastry truly remarkable. I could not help but order it for breakfast for the next two days after that.
I wanted to re-create the flavors of these delicious rolls, while also working to make them slightly healthier (admittedly, so I can eat them more often!).
Looking at the original recipe, there were two major changes that I made. First, I swapped out most of the white flour for whole wheat flour, leaving a small amount just to help maintain the gluten structure of the dough. Second, I eliminated the large amount of sugar that is normally mixed with the tahini paste before rolling the dough into the classic shape. To give a hint of sweetness, I made a mixture of chopped raisins, sun dried apricots, cinnamon, a bit of honey, and of course tahini. I also added chopped walnuts for their health benefits, and because their flavor goes perfectly with the rolls.
These rolls are perfect for a filling breakfast, but can be enjoyed any time of day with a glass of tea or milk.
Makes 6 rolls
1 cup warm whole milk (250 ml)
1 tablespoon yeast (10 grams)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ½ cups multigrain flour (350 grams) + more for kneading (~1/4 cup)
½ cup white flour (80 grams)
1 teaspoon salt (7 grams)
2 tablespoons melted butter (17 grams)
½ cup sunflower oil (98 grams) or any other oil of your choice
1 cup tahini paste (225 grams)
1 cup mixed dried fruit and nuts, finely chopped (adjust to your liking, I did 1/3 apricots, 1/3 raisins, 1/3 walnuts)
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg yolk
Sesame seeds (optional topping)
- Activate yeast by making mixture of warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
- In separate bowl, combine flours, salt, butter, and oil. Add yeast mixture and stir into soft dough.
- Place ¼ cup 7 grain flour onto clean surface, and knead dough ball until smooth (5-10 minutes).
- Place dough in clean container and let sit for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Remove dough from bowl and split into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll out each dough piece one by one, and add the tahini/fruit/nut mixture to it, being careful not to spread it out too close to the sides. Then roll the dough into a long cigar shape. Let them sit for 20 minutes like this.
- Preheat your oven to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Now take each long cigar shaped dough and twist it a bit, then roll it into itself to make the classic shape (see pictures).
- Place the rolls on a tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place in oven for 30 minutes.
- Serve warm with a glass of milk. Store extras in airtight container or bag.