Koulouri Thessalonikis & Toastaki Recipe

One of my favorite sandwiches to make ever is the Greek toast better known as “toastaki”. Basically, it is cheese, ham, and toast and then typically you would use the panini grill to cook it. But in this case, I am using my good old fashioned saucepan to cook this baby up.

(Sesame Bread Rings) – Κουλούρι Θεσσαλονίκης

Recipe from my second cookbook “A Drop of Ladi & My Greek Soul”
Thessaloniki is very well known for this delightful snack. The “koulouri” (plural: koulouria) is bread shaped into rings with toasted sesame seeds. You can make it sweet or savory using sesame, anise, or caraway seeds. It is easily paired with Greek dips like tzatziki, or spicy feta dip but you can also enjoy it plain or toastaki style! Trust me, you won’t be able to have just one!

Servings: 10 bread rings


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ½ cups sesame seeds


  1. Prepare the yeast: In a small bowl add the warm water and honey. Mix to combine and then add the active dry yeast and stir with a wooden spoon. Set aside until the mixture gets foamy and bubbly (for about 10 minutes).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flours and salt and slowly add the yeast mixture. Mix for about 6 minutes or until the dough is soft and elastic.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl, place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Prepare the coating for the koulouri. In a deep plate, dissolve the sugar into the warm water and mix to combine. Place the sesame seeds inside a deep pan.
  5. Lightly grease your kitchen counter with oil and prepare to cut the dough into 10 balls. Roll pieces into long sausage-like strings. Take both ends of dough and connect together forming a ring. Dip each ring into the water, and then gently roll each into the sesame seeds.
  6. Preheat oven at 400° F. Place koulouri onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and slightly greased. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

K’s Greek Toastaki Recipe

Servings: 2 sandwiches


  • 4 tablespoons of butter room temperature
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 4 slices of Havarti cheese
  • 2 koulouri halved


  1. Prepare a large pan over medium heat. Brush the koulouri with butter on each side, and then place inside the pan.
  2. Gently put 1 slice of ham and 2 slides of cheese on one side of the koulouri. Making sure the filling is covering all the bottom half of the koulouri ring. Then let the koulouri heat up on each side for about 1 minute, then place the top of the koulouri over the other one. Continue cooking until cheese has melted, but make sure not to burn the bread. Remove from heat and enjoy!

**The easier method is to use a panini grill, and cook for 2 minutes until golden brown.


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