Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Armenian Bread Sticks (better known as Simit in Armenian Circles) from Wingaersheek Beach!

Marash Girl dutifully sat at her computer today to list her promised 10 books a day onto her website ( when she came upon a charitable cookbook, one of her favorite category of books!  Prepared in order to raise funds, usually by women, usually for charitable organizations, these cookbooks are important contributions to local history, important contributions to the history of women.  Typically the cookbooks are plastic spiral bound, printed on stenograph machines, and sold by the members of the local church, synagogue, YMCA, community service group . . . Typically each recipe has the printed name of its contributor, and often, when these books were gifted, they have the ink inscription and signature of one of the contributors.  It was just one of these books -- 

Wingaersheek Yacht Club; Cookbook Committee Judiei McManus, Maureen Donovan, Carol Harrington, Ruth Parsons, Rita Mawn; illus by Kip Penney; Historical preface by William L. Wilson, Wingaersheek's Cottage Cookery, compiled by the Wingaersheek Yacht Club, 1978

that Marash Girl flipped open  this morning when she was listing books onto her website. [Where's Wingaersheek, you might ask . . . it's a tiny beach community on the North Shore of Massachusetts, a part of Gloucester.]  The book opened, by chance or by purpose, Marash Girl always wonders, to page 144, where there in all its glory was the recipe for ARMENIAN BREAD STICKS.  Armenian Bread Sticks?  Marash Girl hasn't thought of those since her Auntie Beatrice (Chuck's mom) was making them at 325 (?)  Lowell Avenue on that fortunate day when Marash Girl arrived unannounced, a little girl then, on her way back from piano lessons.  Auntie Bea never did give her the recipe, though she gave her lots of bread sticks to munch on, but you can be sure that Marash girl is going to try the recipe from Wingaersheek's Cottage Cookery to see if it comes anywhere near Auntie Bea's!  Here it is!


1/2 C MILK
5 1/2 CUPS SIFTED FLOUR (Marash Girl would use King Arthur)
sesame seeds (about 1/2 c or more if desired)
1 egg, beaten (to brush on top)

In large bowl, beat eggs, add melted butter, sugar and milk. Pour into flour mixture in bowl. Knead lightly into medium dough. Make balls about 2 inches in diameter. Roll each ball with palm of hands on a board until it resembles a pencil.  Cut into 3-inch pieces.  Brush with egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place on cook sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
                                                                                                                           Verkin Selian

Several suggestions from Marash Girl
Roll out the dough, cut into strips. roll strips into pencil width and length (3 to 5 inches).  Continue as described above.
Marash Girl would caution you not to overcook these tasty morsels, as they tend to burn as the last minutes of baking approach!

If you try the recipe, please let us all know how it comes out (in your comments below).

And finally, do any of you know (did any of you know) Verkin Selian?


  1. Yes! Although yesterday's NYTimes claims simit is a Turkish bagel!