Gluten-Free Turkish-Style Sesame Bagels (Simit)

These are Turkish sesame bagels, also known as simit, are made with all-purpose flour and yogurt. But I was curious what would happen if I substituted the two with gluten-free flours and vegan yogurt instead. If the recipe is here, clearly it worked. Very well.

The key ingredient in this recipe is psyllium husk (pronounced sillium), a type of dissolvable fiber from the Plantago ovata plant. When psyllium husk comes in contact with water, it rapidly absorbs the liquid and swells into a gel-like substance. This makes it very useful as a thickener in gluten-free baking.

You can use any gluten-free flour blend. I used a combination of brown rice, sorghum, and tapioca flours. They resemble New-York-style bagels only in shape. They aren’t as chewy in texture.

I adapted the recipe from – what I call the bible of Turkish foodThe Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren.

Gluten-Free Turkish Sesame Bagels (Simit)

Enjoy these bagels as a snack or as part of a meal, just like the traditional simit bread of Turkey.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 55 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Healthy, Plant-based
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Bread
Servings: 4 bagels
Author: Shelly


  • 1 medium glass bowl
  • 1 baking sheet
  • baking papper


  • ¾ cup fine brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons psyllium husk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ½ cup vegan yogurt* - or quick cashew cream
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Gradually add the water while stirring with a wooden spoon. Knead the dough for 1 minute in the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit of rice flour. If it’s too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover with a damp, clean kitchen towel and place in a warm spot.
  • Let the dough rise for about 60 minutes.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Put the proofed dough on a clean counter. Divide it into 8 equal-ish pieces. Roll each piece into a 7-inch snake. Twist two snakes together and form a ring by sticking the ends.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Dip the bagels in the yogurt then coat in sesame or poppy seeds and put on the lined baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes or until the bagels are golden brown.


To make cashew cream: soak ½ cup raw cashews in boiled water for 20 minutes or overnight. Drain them and put in a blender. Add ½ cup filtered water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional) and a good pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. 

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