Sourdough Jerusalem sesame kaak by SamiraZ

Ingredients

Dough: 5.25 ounces (150 g) sourdough starter 1 cup + 3 tablespoons (280 g) water, at room temperature 1 tablespoon (20 g) molasses* 3,5 cups (490 g) bread flour 1+1/4 teaspoons (10 g) fine sea salt Coating: 2 tablespoons (40 g) molasses* 1/2 cup (120 g) water, boiling 1+1/4 cups (200 g) sesame seeds, toasted** * I prefer grape molasses.

Instructions

To prepare the dough, put the sourdough starter in the bowl of a stand mixer, add water and molasses and whisk to dissolve completely.
Switch to a dough hook, add flour and mix on slow speed for 2-3 minutes, then increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 7-8 minutes more, until you obtain a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Cover with plastic and let rest for half an hour at room temperature.
Tear the dough into walnut-sized pieces, add salt and mix on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until the dough comes together and absorbs the salt completely. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in volume, for 3-4 hours at room temperature, or (preferably) in the refrigerator overnight.
If you’re letting it rise in the refrigerator overnight, bring the dough to room temperature by letting it sit on the counter, covered, for 2-3 hours before the next step.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface, flatten and divide into six equal pieces, each about 5.25 ounces (150 g). Roll each piece into a 35-inch-long and an-inch-thick strand, cut in the middle, place them side-by-side, pinch the ends, twist the strands by rolling in opposite directions from each end and pinch to join the ends. Place the rings on baking sheets, cover loosely with plastic and let rise for about 2 hours, until 1.5 times their size. At this point, each simit will measure around 5.5 inches in diameter.
Half an hour before baking, set a rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 500F.
Pour molasses into a bowl big enough to fit a shaped dough, pour boiling water on top and whisk to dissolve the molasses completely. Put the sesame seeds in another large, shallow bowl.
One roll at a time, dip them into the water, lift and wait for a few seconds to drain the excess water, place them on the sesame seeds, press slightly, turn over and press slightly again, this time to encrust the other side and transfer them to the baking sheets. During this process, simits will stretch naturally and will measure around 7 inches in diameter.
Decrease the oven temperature to 400 F and bake, one tray at a time, until golden, for about 25 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve while still warm.