Sesame sticks are a great vice of mine: I'll strip the bowl of any before you have a chance to get a hand in there.
But, luckily, while it'd be hard to make pretzel wheels, Fritos, or Cheez-Its (never Cheese Nips—never!), sesame sticks are the child's play of the DIY snack food world: If you can make crackers (and you can), you can make sesame sticks. (And yes, that means I should make a batch of my own to bring to the next snacks-centered event I attend—for everyone's sake.)
These don't taste exactly like the kind you'll find in the bulk section of your grocery store (probably because they have 8 ingredients instead of 30 and they're baked, not fried), but they're pretty darn close—and they still tick off all the nutty, crunchy, salty boxes nevertheless.
To Make Them...
- Mix together a simple dough (I used Epicurious' 3-Ingredient Seeded Crackers as a guide) with whole wheat flour as the base.
- Add buckwheat groats for crunch and, following Serious Eats' recommendations, toasted sesame seeds, ground turmeric, garlic powder, and salt.
- Then, whisk together sesame oil, water, and honey and pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients as the mixer runs.
- When the flour has disappeared and the dough has come together, roll it between two sheets of parchment paper, as thin as you can get it without driving yourself nuts.
- Score it with a sharp knife or—fun—a pizza cutter. You can cut all the way through, but don't separate any of the stickies (the dough will be too sticky, anyway). then slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and freeze for an hour.
- Brush the frozen cracker sheet with oil, sprinkle with more sesame seeds, and bake at 400° F for 15 to 20 minutes—the darker they are (without burning), the more flavorful and crunchy they'll be. Brush a little more sesame oil over top for the last few minutes of baking.
- Don't worry if they're not super crisp when they first come out of the oven—they'll harden as they cool.
- When they're cool, snap them apart with your hands (they'll break easily along the scored lines).
Fellow sesame fiends, we no longer have an excuse to snag the sticks out of the bowl with our pincer-fingers when the other guests step away to get drinks.
And with a reserve of homemade sesame sticks to call our own, we can munch by the palmful, yes, but also strew them atop salads, soups, and dips, too.
Next up: bagel chips.
Adapted from Epicurious and Serious Eats. —Sarah Jampel
- Makes about 3 cups
toasted sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons
kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
sesame oil (untoasted), plus more for brushing
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, pulse the flour, groats, sesame seeds, spices, and salt to combine.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the oil, honey, and water.
- With the mixer running, stream in the liquid and mix until the dough has come together and all of the flour has disappeared. Transfer the dough to a work surface and split in half.
- Working with one half at a time, roll the ball of dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a thin rectangle, roughly 10 inches by 15 inches. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, score the dough into many little stick-shaped crackers and transfer, parchment and all, to a baking sheet. Repeat with second half of dough, then transfer both to the freezer until firm and cold, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. When the crackers are cold, brush them with additional sesame oil and sprinkle with more sesame seeds and salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes—I find that the darker they are (before being burnt, of course), the more flavorful they'll be! You can choose to baste them with additional oil if you'd like them to be a bit richer. Let the crackers cool completely (they crisp up as they cool), then break them apart into sticks with a spatula, butter knife, or your hands. Snack of them as is or incorporate into mixes, eat them as croutons, etc.