Sesame-Cornmeal Crackers

These sesame crackers are a savory version of the traditional sweet benne (sesame) wafers that are popular throughout the South.

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  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup peanut oil
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

How to make this recipe

  1. In a spice mill, grind 1/4 cup of the sesame seeds to a fine powder. In a food processor, pulse the ground sesame seeds with the flour, cornmeal and salt. Add the oil and process until the mixture resembles moist sand. Add the water all at once and pulse just until incorporated. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface and knead just until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 15 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough 1/8-inch thick; keep the rest wrapped. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds over the dough and press them into the pastry with a rolling pin. Cut the pastry into 1-inch squares and transfer to ungreased baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough and sesame seeds.

  3. Bake the crackers in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the crackers cool completely on the baking sheets.

Make Ahead

The sesame-cornmeal crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen for 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

A refreshing, fruity-tart California Blanc de Noir sparkling wine will complement the tangy, sweet and smoky flavors in these hors d'oeuvres.

Contributed By Published November 2002

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