These sesame bread bracelets (here also made into sticks) are quite popular with the people of the region. They are sold on street corners, and at times to school children during the morning break. Prepare them for your family and see their faces glow!
Kaek be Simsem is commonly eaten by breaking off a piece of the bracelet and dipping it into Za’tar (thyme mixture sold in Middle Eastern specialty shops).
2 ml (1/2 tsp) sugar
350 mL (1 1/2 cups) lukewarm water
10 mL (2 tsp) yeast granules
7 mL (1 1/2 tsp) salt
750 mL (3 cups) all purpose flour
15 mL (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
2-3 egg whites
500 mL (2 cups) sesame seeds (hulled or unhulled), preferably toasted
Dissolve sugar in the water, add yeast and let stand for 15 minutes. Add salt to flour and mix. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour and mix thoroughly. If you find it too sticky add more flour.
Sprinkle a handful of flour on the counter top and knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Form into a longish shape and pat with vegetable oil.
Divide dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a cylinder about a hand’s length. Place on a tea towel, cover and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Pour some of the sesame seeds onto a platter. Put the egg whites in a dinner plate and beat slightly with fork, to break up their coagulation.
Roll dough cylinders into a rope the thickness of your finger. Join the ends together forming a bracelet. Dip into egg whites, then into sesame seeds, coating the dough all over. Lay on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and put in a warm draft-free place for 2 hours or more.
Bake in a 260C (500F) oven on the second rack from the bottom for 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Broil the tops until golden brown also.
Best eaten immediately or on the same day. Freezes well. Great for picnics.
Note: Whenever you make Khoubez Kimaaj (Arabic/pita bread) you may use a piece of the dough to make these bracelets, because the dough is similar.