Sesame Coins

Yields about 3 dozen 1 ½” coins

5 ¾ oz (1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
1 t. table salt
¼ t. coarsely ground black pepper
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces, chilled
1 large egg yolk
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
kosher salt for sprinkling

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a food processor.  Process until just blended.  Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir the yolk and mustard together with a fork and drizzle over the flour mixture.  Pulse until the dough begins to form moist crumbs that are just beginning to clump together.  Add the sesame seeds and pulse very briefly – just two or three quick pulses will do the trick; anymore and the seeds will break down too much.

Pile the moist crumbs on an unfloured work surface.  With the heel of your hand, push and gently smear the crumbs away from you until they start to come together in a cohesive dough.  Using a pastry scraper or a metal spatula, lift up one edge of the dough and fold it into the center (the dough will still be rough, so don’t expect a neat, smooth fold).  Repeat with the opposite edge, like folding a letter.  Turn the dough 45 degrees.  Give the dough another smearing and shape it into a 14” logs that’s 1 ¼” in diameter.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours, or up to two days.  (The dough may also be frozen for up to a month and then thawed for about an hour on the counter on in the refrigerator overnight.)

Heat the oven to 375°.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment.  Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the log into scant ¼” slices.  Arrange about ½ apart on the prepared sheets, Bake until medium to deep golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes rotating the sheets as needed for even baking.  If you like, sprinkle the crackers with a little kosher salt just as the baking sheets come out of the oven.  Set the sheets on racks to cool.  When the coins are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.

Fine Cooking, December 2003

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