From Istanbul originally, this recipe appears in "A Blessing of Bread" by Maggie Glezer. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. The 4-hr time indicated is really from start to finish. There is probably about 30-45 minutes of active work during that time, depending on how quick you are.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the yeast, 3/4 cup of the flour and the cloves, then whisk in the water until smooth. Let stand uncovered for 10-20 minutes, until it begins to ferment. It may not puff up at all.
- Whisk the salt, oil, and sugar into the yeast slurry until smooth and the salt and sugar have dissolved. Stir in the remaining flour all at once.
- When the mix is a shaggy mess, turn it out onto a work surface and knead until fairly smooth, soft, and just a bit sticky.
- Put it in a warm, clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until at least doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or oil it.
- Divide dough in half. Roll one piece into a rectangle, then roll it up along the long side, evening it and lengthening it until it is about 24 inches long and 1 inch thick.
- Bring the ends together to form a ring, and pinch them together. Transfer to prepared sheet.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Cover the rings with plastic wrap and leave to rise until tripled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
- Put an oven rack in the upper third position, and preheat to 400°F.
- Beat the egg with a pinch of salt, and glaze the rings. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
- Slash the rings in a sunburst pattern, about 1/2 inch deep and about 2 inches apart to mark off serving sections.
- Bake 25-35 minutes, or until very brown. Rotate the pan about 20 minutes into baking.
- Cool rings on a rack.
Actually, the name provided here is incorrect. This is really called SIMIT. and it's got nothing to do with coffee cake. It's actually a kind of bread that is sold openly in the streets to people as a snack.
We enjoyed this with our afternoon tea, and then with breakfast the next day! Fantastic!
Unfortunately, I had some problems with this from the start - quite possibly user error. The dough did not come together at all, I had to add a good half cup of additional flour. The first rise was fine, but the second rise didn't rise nearly as much as expected, even after extra time in the nice warm spot I use for all my breads. The rings smelled absolutely divine while baking, but the flavor came across quite bland to us... Like I said, I must have done something wrong, but it just didn't quite work out.