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Sesame Crackers (Thin and Crispy)

by Victor @ Taste of Artisan

Sesame Crackers - Thin and Crispy | Taste of Artisan

Do you remember seeing those artisan sesame crackers sold in clear containers at your local grocery store? They are shaped like long wedges or triangles, have sesame seeds on top and look so appetizing. I love them, but at $3.99 a box which contains 10-12 crackers they may as well be made of gold. This recipe will make sesame crackers that are very similar, but much fresher and better tasting.

I tried, and tried, and tried, but they never tasted like those store-bought ones. Not that store-bought is anything most of us would admire, but these particular sesame crackers are awesome. They are thin and have a dense, crispy but not crumbly texture. I tried a large number of recipes I could find online and in recipe books, did some experimentation of my own and finally gave up without much success.

The long sought-after sesame cracker recipe

Then, recently, I was looking for some information in The Professional Pastry Chef book when a recipe called ‘Sesame Crackers’ caught my attention. I read through the description, looked over the ingredient list and it struck me that it may be it, the sesame cracker recipe I had been so desperately trying to find. These were yeasted crackers, yet dense. Ah! I think that must be the secret to the taste I was looking for.

This recipe was given to the author of the book by a baker at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.  When he first saw these crackers at dinner, the author of the book was impressed by how precise and evenly they were rolled out. He later found out that the cracker dough is rolled out on a sheeter.

Naturally, a sheeter at home is an overkill, so we must find another way. A pasta roller is a perfect substitute. You can try rolling out the dough by hand, but I’ve never been successful at achieving even thickness, which resulted in uneven baking. Not to mention that it’s quite a laborious task to roll them out by hand.

I had been using a hand pasta roller for years, until I recently took the plunge and bought a pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer as a Christmas present to myself. What a difference a motor and a much higher clearance above the table makes! This presented me with a perfect opportunity to try out the new sesame cracker recipe.

Sesame Crackers | Taste of Artisan

The results and some tips

So, the crackers turned out absolutely terrific. A little less sweet than I like. I will double the amount of honey the next time I make them (reflected in the recipe below). How did they compare to store-bought? Pretty close, but better tasting for sure. The freshness makes a huge difference. You will never have that with the store-bought sesame crackers.

The whole sesame cracker making process turned out to be stupidly easy and the recipe hard to mess up. The only thing that puzzled me was how was setting on my pasta roller attachment to use for the final thickness. The author suggests rolling the dough out to 2 mm thick, which corresponds to #1 setting on the roller. That’s way too thick.

I tried rolling out all the way to #7. #7 started crushing sesame seeds. #6 gave me the thinnest dough, without tearing or crushing sesame seeds. #6 setting on this roller corresponds to about 1/3 mm. I loved the thickness on this setting. The crackers come out about as thick as a corn chip. It’s a little thinner than the store-bought but that’s how I like them.

The downside of rolling the dough thinner is, naturally, you get to do a l-o-o-o-o-o-t of rolling, and a l-o-o-o-o-o-t of baking. The bright side is that you will end up with a l-o-o-o-o-o-t of crackers. If I were to buy an equivalent amount at the local store I would go broke.

The thickness will also determine how long the crackers need to bake. Rolled out to #6, it takes about 14-15 minutes at 375F to get nice golden brown color. About 13 minutes at #7, and about 20 minutes at #5.

I cut the original recipe in half as the output was too high, about 100 very large crackers at #6 roller thickness and lots of batches of baking. You may even want to cut the batch size further in half.

Sesame Crackers - Thin and Crispy

5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crackers
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 50 large crackers
Calories: 86kcal
Author: Victor

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (7 g; see notes)
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (420 ml, 105° to 115°F)
  • 1 Tbsp diastatic malt or honey (15 ml)
  • 1/2 oz kosher salt (15 g)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Asian sesame oil (40 ml)
  • 6 oz whole wheat flour (170 g)
  • 20 oz bread flour (568 g)
  • 1/2 lb sesame seeds (228 g; a mixture of black and white)

Instructions

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast and the honey in the warm water. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, until the yeast activates and a foam cap forms.
  • Mix in the salt and the sesame oil. Using the dough hook attachment, incorporate the whole wheat flour and all but a handful of the bread flour. Knead until a smooth, elastic dough develops. Keep adding more flour if necessary. Incorporate the sesame seeds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover and place in a warm place for 1 hour to proof.
  • Cut the dough into 4-6 pieces. Flatten each piece with your hands or a roller to about ¼ - inch thick. Cover the dough pieces with a piece of plastic wrap and let relax for 15 minutes. Roll each piece out to #6 setting on the KitchenAid pasta roller attachment, which is about 1/64 inch or about 0.5 mm thick (see notes).
  • Lay the rolled out dough on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut the dough sheets into crackers of the desired size and shape. Large triangles or wedges work particularly well. Bake immediately (do not let them rise, or the crackers will be thick instead of thin and crisp) at 375°F (190°C) until deep golden brown (see notes). Rolled out to #6 they need 14-15 minutes of baking.
  • Store in airtight containers.

Notes

The original recipe uses fresh compressed yeast, which is not readily available to a home baker, not is it practical for a home baker. If want to us fresh yeast, you will need 3/4 oz or 20 grams for this recipe. In the original recipe the author recommends rolling the dough out to 1⁄16 inch (2 mm) thick. You may want to experiment and decide for yourself whether you like your crackers thinner or thicker. In the original recipe the author advises to bake the crackers until deep golden brown. Be sure not over-bake as they tend to taste a little bitter if baked too much. I'd recommend to experiment a little and pick the color that corresponds to the best tasting crackers to you.

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0g | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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29 comments

Sarah January 1, 2020 - 3:25 am

My black sesame seeds must’ve been chunky, because going down from 5 to 6 crushed them. I stuck with 5 for the other pieces of dough and my crackers turned out crisp, aromatic, and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan January 1, 2020 - 8:47 pm

You are very welcome, Sarah. Thanks for your feedback.

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Barbara Anderson-Jones December 11, 2019 - 1:41 am

If the end result is thin and crispy then why add the yeast?

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan December 11, 2019 - 3:06 am

Enzymes in the yeast cause starch molecules in flour to break down into simple sugars, which are consumed by yeast, which flavors the dough. I think the leavening part, though not apparent, also plays a role in texture formation. Thin and crispy vs thin and dense/rock hard?

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Sue December 2, 2019 - 2:11 pm

These crackers are amazing and as you say – really easy to make. I used only half the amount of sesame seeds and topped the rolled out dough with “Everything but the Bagel” topping from Trader Joe’s. They are a hit served with hummus, guacamole, or salsa!

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan December 2, 2019 - 3:00 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Sue. Great idea to use ‘Everything but the bagel’ seasoning. We love it! I have 2 jars sitting in my kitchen cupboard.;)

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan January 17, 2020 - 5:17 pm

Hi Sue,

My 10-year-old, Emily, made these for us last night with ‘Everything but the bagel’ seasoning. Wow! Those dried garlic and onion flakes in the seasoning made the crackers even better. These things have become dangerously addictive 😉 The only thing is the seasoning is quite salty so you have to go very light on it. We are looking to copycat it but without the salt, which would be added separately. Again, thanks for the great tip!!!!!
>
Sesame crackers

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Arelys November 13, 2019 - 12:03 am

Harina de pan?

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Alannah October 17, 2019 - 1:36 am

How long do these last for?

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan October 17, 2019 - 3:02 am

Since these are dry, the will last 2-3 weeks or even longer. Keep in a tightly closed container so that they stay dry.

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Bea September 9, 2019 - 8:28 am

Can I ask you a question about the diastatic malt powder? I have both that and honey. Which should I use and what does the diastatic powder do? I use it in my croissants but nothing else. I would love to know more about it before I make these. Thanks so much!

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan September 9, 2019 - 2:12 pm

Bea,

Diastatic malt contains the enzyme diastase, which converts starch into sugar. This sugar provides food for the yeast, helping the bread rise and it also adds
to the flavor of the finished product and improves browning.

Diastatic malt is perfect for baked product with very short fermentation periods, like these sesame crackers. It’s typically not used in products with a long fermentation period as too much of the starch will be broken down.

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Annie February 13, 2019 - 10:31 am

oh gee sounds so yummy but 86 cal a cracker……leaves me out

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Victor February 13, 2019 - 1:30 pm

A very big cracker;-) break them in small pieces and you will have a lot fewer calories per cracker;)

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Marie February 13, 2019 - 1:33 am

oops, forgot to rate the recipe. 5 stars for sure!

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Marie February 13, 2019 - 1:32 am

Made these today–delicious! I couldn’t quite incorporate ALL the sesame seeds, but looked the same as yours. Planning to incorporate some additional spices next time as others have mentioned. Definitely a great base recipe!

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Victor February 13, 2019 - 1:47 am

Good to heart that, Marie. Thank you for your feedback.

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Mitch October 21, 2018 - 1:25 pm

86 cal per serving . How many crackers are a serving ? …. based on the size crackers shown in the picture ?

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Victor October 21, 2018 - 3:49 pm

Yes, the yield is about 50 large crackers shown on the picture. The calories are calculated as the 1/50th of all the ingredients.

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Mitch October 21, 2018 - 1:24 pm

86 cal per serving you don’t say how much is serving . How many crackers are a serving ?

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Ellynn October 12, 2018 - 1:25 pm

Can i deep fry this cracker instead of baking in the oven? Im glad if you can help me in this one.

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Victor October 12, 2018 - 2:02 pm

I have never tried deep-frying this or any other cracker dough so I am afraid I can’t offer much help. If I were to do it though, I would heat enough oil in large cast iron pan then fry one side at a time, until deep golden brown. I think that should work. In a deep fryer, you can fully immerse them for quicker frying, if you have one.

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Penny December 7, 2017 - 6:04 pm

Yummy yummy crackers. The type I was looking for. Nice and crispy, the way I like them. Next time I make them I will use less sesame seeds and add flax seeds, dried onion flakes and caraway seeds. I used my bread machine as another reviewer used. Excellent.

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Shelley August 27, 2017 - 2:57 am

You call for whole wheat flour and bread flour can you define what you mean?

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Victor August 27, 2017 - 5:36 pm

The word “whole” refers to the fact that all of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) is used and nothing is lost in the process of making the flour. This is in contrast to white, refined flours, which contain only the endosperm. Because the whole flour contains the remains of all of the grain, it has a textured, brownish appearance. Bread flour is the type of flour that has a higher protein content, usually 12%+. Can be white or whole wheat. I use white.

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Theresa Byrne August 26, 2017 - 3:40 am

I tried this recipe tonight and the crackers turned out really great. I took a bit of a short cut and put all the ingredients in my bread maker on the dough cycle and then rolled them out with my pasta machine. Thank you for the clear instructions. I will be making lots more of these.

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Victor August 26, 2017 - 12:38 pm

Glad you liked this recipe as much as I do, Theresa. If you like thin, crispy crackers this recipe is gold. They are ridiculously tasty and so inexpensive to make at home.

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Gina August 17, 2017 - 11:30 am

Oh my! The crackers turned out great.. Took a bit of time to bake them but it was well worth it. These crackers were the best I’d ever tried. Will try with dried cranberries next time. Rolling the dough out with a pasta roller (I use the same one as you do) was a cake walk.

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Victor August 17, 2017 - 1:24 pm

Glad to hear that, Gina. I’d been looking for a very long time to find a recipe like this one.

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