Twisted Sesame Rings, Simeat
Bagels of Baghdad
The authentic varieties, like Iraqi simeat, are closely related to bagels, in that they are poached in hot water before baking. In fact, the name of these pastries originally came from this practice because the root verb samata (سمط) means ‘dip briefly in hot water.’ This is a baking technique deeply steeped in history. In one of the extant medieval Arab cookbooks, a recipe for ring cookies called ka’k instructs that the dough be shaped into rings, which are first carried by a rolling pin and dipped briefly in boiling water and then arranged on a tray and baked in the brick oven called furn.