I love all things sesame. These crackers are thin and crispy, loaded with sesame seeds, and flavored with sesame oil. If you love sesame and you’re up for a bit of a project in the kitchen, this is the recipe for you!
I didn’t count the number of crackers that I made, but you can get an idea from the photo above (that’s a 10″ x 15″ pan with shallow sides). The original recipe makes four times the amount of crackers shown in the photo above – that would be a lot of crackers and it would take a lot of time to roll and bake them. Ah, but these are so crisp and full of sesame flavor I wish I had made a larger batch!
The “project” part of the recipe is the rolling. I used a pasta machine, which worked wonderfully; it made the crackers really thin and even. See the notes and photos below for more details.
- The dough is easy to make, but it’s hard to incorporate all of the sesame seeds. The dough is pretty stiff by the time the seeds are added, and even with the dough hook, many of the seeds do not mix in. I worked the dough quite a bit with my hands and was able to incorporate most of the seeds.
- I divided the dough into balls about this size. I would call that softball size, but since I’m not sports-oriented, I thought I better show you a photo in case that’s not what a softball looks like.
- Rolling the dough in the pasta machine is easy. I have an Atlas Pasta Queen, which has settings from 1-7. I rolled each piece of dough through each setting twice, starting with 1 and ending with setting 5. Any thinner than that and the dough started to tear.
- Here’s what that ball of dough looks like when it’s rolled out and cut. I used a pizza cutter to cut the crackers.
- I baked two sheets at a time, and I had six sheets of crackers. My baking sheets are pretty small; if you are baking on half sheet pans, you may be able to bake all of the crackers on four pans.
- The second time I made these, I sprinkled just a little salt on them before baking. They were good the first time, but even better with a little salt on top.
- The seeds fly around a lot, so get ready to do some clean-up, including vacuuming, when you’re done!
- The recipe below is scaled to 1/4 of the original. The amounts are in grams and milliliters, which I think makes it easier to measure precisely.
Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef
210 ml warm water (105º-115ºF/40º-46ºC)
3.75 ml (1/4 Tablespoon) diastatic malt or honey
7.5 g salt
20 ml Asian sesame oil
85 g whole wheat flour
283 g bread flour
113 g sesame seeds (all white or a mix black and white)
Salt for sprinkling on top, optional
In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix in the malt or honey, salt, and sesame oil. Using the dough hook, incorporate the whole wheat flour and all but a handful of the bread flour. Knead until a smooth elastic dough develops, scraping down the sides of the bowl and adding the reserved flour if necessary. Incorporate the sesame seeds (you may need to work the seeds in with your hands).
Cover and let rise in a warm location for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F/190ºC. Divide the dough into 6 or 7 softball-size pieces (see this link for an explanation of forming dough into a ball). Cover and allow them to relax for 15 minutes.
Roll each dough ball to 1/16 inch (2 mm) thick. The easiest way to do this is with a pasta roller. Start with the widest setting, roll the dough through twice, and then move to the next setting. Continue until the dough is as thin as it can be without tearing. Place the dough on a baking pan lined with parchment paper; cut into pieces (a pizza cutter works well). Try to keep the pieces similarly sized for even baking. You do not need to leave space between the crackers when you bake them. If desired, sprinkle salt on the unbaked crackers and press gently to help it stick. Bake immediately so the crackers do not rise.
Bake the crackers until deep golden brown (approximately 9 minutes), rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Keep your eye on them while they are in the oven – they are thin and will brown quickly. Let cool for a while on the baking sheet and then transfer to a large platter or pan to finish cooling. While the crackers bake, roll out the next ball of dough, continuing in batches until they are all baked. Store in an airtight container.