Greek Sesame Bagels, known as Thessaloniki buns, are one of the most favorite snacks of all ages. And certainly one of my own! They are sold everywhere in Greece. They made their appearance in Thessaloniki, where Greek refugees from Turkey used to bake them and sell them in the street. Today, these buns are in every Greek’s heart. In the center of each city, koulourtzides ( those who sell them) sell warm and fragrant buns, first thing in the morning. This smell and taste awakens memories of our childhood.
It is very healthy and certainly cheap snack. Its ingredients are very simple, but its strong quality is the sesame and its high nutritional value. Only 28 gr. (1 oz) of sesame offers ¼ of the required daily amount of calcium, high value vegetable proteins , and vitamins , especially B complex and vitamin E. In addition, sesame offers very nutritious polyunsaturated fatty acids that the human body, cannot synthesize and has rich antioxidant properties. It contains minerals and phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Sesame and its derivatives (tahini and halva) have many calories so you need to be careful with its consumption.
Have you ever thought of making Thessaloniki buns yourself? The recipe is very simple. Nowadays, there are many variations of the standard recipe, but I did not find any recipe that uses whole wheat flour. And of course, I gave it a try!
Whole Wheat Sesame Bagels
- 450gr (15.8oz) whole wheat flour
- 9gr (0.3oz) dry yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- about 1 cup lukewarm water
- about 100gr (3.5oz) sesame seeds
In a bowl, mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
Pour the oil in the bowl and knead until it is thoroughly absorbed from the flour , about 5 minutes. The dough should have become like crumbs .
Gradually add lukewarm water and knead as needed so the dough becomes firm and does not stick to your hands.
Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough in a warm place to rise , about 30 minutes.
Having risen and almost doubled in size, knead again for another 5 minutes.
Spread the sesame seeds on a plate.
Preheat oven to 180° C (360o F). Line the pans with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into equal pieces. I made 16 medium size buns. If you want them bigger, I believe that you should make 10 to 12 pieces.
Shape each piece of dough into a long string. Have in mind that the dough will rise a bit more, so if you want thin buns, the string you make must be very thin. Coat the buns with water, join the edges and douse the bagels in the sesame seeds dish on both sides.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until light browned.
0.6g Saturated fat
Mine were not as soft as the ones we buy. I wanted them with a little crisper crust and were just so. I’m waiting for your own impressions of the Thessaloniki buns!