1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 and 1/2 cups tepid water
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup (or more) raw sesame seeds
about 1/4 cup petimezi (grape must syrup) If petimezi is hard to find, substitute honey
2 cups water
oil for the work surface so that the dough does not stick
Begin by proofing the yeast. Combine the yeast, water, and sugar and mix. Set aside about 8 minutes until the yeast is activated. It is ready when a puffy cloud forms over the water. Your yeast is good and ready!
Combine the flour with the salt in the bowl of a tabletop mixer and mix the ingredients to combine. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. With the dough hook attachment, knead on low speed for 7-8 minutes.
This can also be done in a large bowl by hand. The kneading time will increase to 10-12 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a kitchen towel or with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. This takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It may take longer if it is cold in your home.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, 232 degrees Celsius.
Tip: If you have a cast iron pan and a pizza stone place the cast iron pan on the lowest rack of your oven and the pizza stone in the middle rack. Place them in the oven while the oven is cold so that the pizza stone does not crack. Let them warm while the oven is preheating. Doing this will help you create bakery style bread rings. Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.
Place the sesame seeds in a shallow, wide bowl.
Dilute the Petimezi (grape must syrup or the honey in water.
Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces.
Roll out each piece into long ropes. About 8 inches long. If the dough is sticky, drop some olive oil onto your work surface and rub it all over. Do not add flour. Adding flour will create dry bread rings.
Form the ropes into rings. Dip in the water mixture, then in the sesame seeds.
Place the rings onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Do not place more than 5 rings on a baking sheet.
To make twisted, braided looking bread rings, roll out each piece of dough to about 14-16 inches in length, fold in half and twist to create a rope . Pinch the ends together to form a ring. Dip in the water and then into the seeds and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake one tray at a time. The single bread rings will take 15-20 minutes to bake. The twisted rings will take a little longer. About 25 minutes.
Tip: As soon as the tray with the bread rings goes into the oven, carefully pour a cup of cold water into the cast iron pan in the bottom of the oven. This will create steam which will make the bread rings crusty and delicious.
Serve these with olive oil, butter, or cheese and jam. These also are perfect to use as buns for sandwiches.