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Tahini Bread Rolls with Sesame and Nigella Seeds; Tahinli Ekmek

Tahini bread with sesame and nigella seeds

Tahini bread with sesame and nigella seeds

This tahini bread recipe is from the southern part of Turkey, Antakya (Antioch), where my roots are from.
Tahini is widely used especially in southern and eastern parts of Turkey for making dips (like hummus), casseroles, sauces and baking. When used in baking, you could smell the wonderful aromas of these breads from the local bakeries as of early in the morning, very inviting. Sesame and nigella seeds are widely used especially at decorating the savory pastries (boreks) and breads at home. They all add a wonderful taste and texture, like in this delicious bread rolls, worth trying.

These tahini bread rolls are delicious with dips, cheese or salads.

This delicious Tahini bread rolls and over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included in my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies are now 20 % off until July 31st, if you’d like to get your signed copy here (worldwide delivery). Please enter the promo code: summer-sale at check out at this link.

Afiyet Olsun,


Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time: 15 min (+45 min for the dough to rise)
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

For the dough:

455gr/1lb plain flour
7gr/1sachet of dry yeast
5gr/1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
240ml/8fl oz/1 cup warm water
45ml/3 tablespoons mild olive oil

For the filling and decoration:

30ml/2 tablespoons tahini
15ml/1tablespoon nigella seeds
15ml/1 tablespoon sesame seeds
30ml/2 tablespoons mild olive oil

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Stir in the olive oil. Add warm water and mix to form a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape like a ball and cover the dough with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until double in size.

Generously oil a baking tray. Take about a tennis ball size dough and roll out the ball to make a small oval shape, about 15cm/6in long. Spread a generous teaspoon of tahini in the middle of the dough and roll like a cigar. Then swirl to make a spiral, tucking the end of the roll under the roll. Place the finished roll on the greased tray and decorate with sprinkle of sesame and nigella seeds. Tap the top of the dough gently for the seeds to settle. Repeat these steps for the rest of the dough.

Place the tray in the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top of the rolls start to get a golden color.

Serve the rolls warm with delicious dips like walnut red pepper paste spread, hummus or soups. They are also nice with butter and jam.

Afiyet Olsun,


Note: Tahini is a thick, smooth paste derived from ground sesame seeds. It has a wonderfully rich, nutty flavor with a creamy texture, and it is rich in protein, iron, and essential fatty acids but has no cholesterol. It is natural for the sesame oil to separate; simply stir to blend the oil back into the pulp.

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13 Responses to Tahini Bread Rolls with Sesame and Nigella Seeds; Tahinli Ekmek

  1. sangeeta February 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    I love tahini but have never baked a bread this way … i will make these rolls in the next batch i bake..

    Congratulations for the 100th post…

  2. Ozlem's Turkish Table February 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Merhaba Sangeeta,

    Many thanks for your comment, I hope you like the tahini bread. And if you are a fan of tahini, you maybe a little more generous at the amount you put in each roll. Many thanks for your kind words,

    • Lucy Tibbles January 6, 2021 at 8:01 pm #

      Hello, have you ever made these with sourdough instead of yeast?

      • Ozlem Warren January 7, 2021 at 4:26 pm #

        No I haven’t, I would imagine they would work well. I would appreciate your feedback if you have a go.

        Thank you and Afiyet olsun,

  3. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) September 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    These look wonderful. I love the flavor of tahini; I’d like to give this recipe a try!

    • Ozlem October 1, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks Alison, they are packed with flavor!

  4. Shaikha January 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    merhaba Ozlem,

    I’ve been searching for tahini curek recipe for soooooo long

    I’m in love with turkish food actually everything about turkey

    I feel so lucky that I found your site cok cok tesekkur ediriz

    and I will bake this soon insaallah

    • Ozlem Warren January 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Merhaba Shaikha 🙂 so glad you find the blog, and so glad you will give the tahini bread a try – my roots go back to Antioch – Antakya and this is a specialty there; we love it – look forward to hearing how you get on,
      cok selamlar, sevgiler, Ozlem

  5. Shaikha January 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    I’d like to add that it’s REALLY DELICIOUS with feta cheese I recommend you try it 😉

    tekrar tesekurler

    • Ozlem Warren January 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      Dear Shaikha; delighted to find your comments, so kind of you – I love Ezme with feta cheese too 🙂

  6. Tahini November 16, 2019 at 5:05 am #

    This is incredibly delicious, amazing recipe


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