Koulouri thessaloniki are the Greek version of bagels, albeit centuries older. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, these rings of goodness are are far-and-away the most popular street food in Athens and Thessaloniki. They are sold by street vendors and bakeries on every corner and eaten for breakfast with coffee or as a late night snack…basically anywhere at any time.
Koulouri Thessaloniki- Greek Sesame Bread Rings
- Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment or hand mixer
- Large bowl
- Pie plate
- 2 Baking pans lined with parchment paper
- 19 oz All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Salt
- 10½ oz Lukewarm water
- 8 g Dry active yeast
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 3 cups Water
- 9 oz White sesame seeds
- Make Dough – Combine lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Wrap well with plastic wrap and leave on the counter for 10 minutes so the yeast is bubbling. Remove wrap and add flour, then salt and olive oil. Using the dough hook, mix all the ingredients at low speed for about 7 minutes. Dough should be a slightly sticky, smooth elastic ball at this point. If it's too sticky, add about ½ tsp flour and mix again.
- Rest Dough – Remove bowl from mixer and form a ball. Grease ball with olive oil and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, knead dough in mixer with bread hook at low speed for 4 minutes.
- Form Rings – Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll one piece into a rope about 13½-inches (35cm) long. Form a circle, pinch edges together, and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat until all pieces are done, 6 per tray spaced.
- Coat Rings – Fill a bowl with water and place sesame seeds into a pie place. Dip a ring into the water then move to pie plate and thoroughly coat all sides with sesame seeds. Return to baking pan and coat another ring until done. Set aside for 30 minutes in a warm place to rise.
- Cook Koulouri – Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C). Bake until they become a nice golden brown and crusty, about 15 minutes.