African slaves introduced sesame seeds into this country as "bennes."
1 cup sesame seeds
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup lard or shortening
1/4 pound butter, chilled, cut into 8 pieces
1 egg, beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon sea salt
Toast sesame seeds until golden brown in a skillet or slow oven,
4 to 8 minutes.
Mix flour with the seasonings. Work in lard and
butter with your fingertips as if making pie crust.
Beat egg with
2 tablespoons ice water. Mix flour and liquid lightly with a fork.
Add sesame seeds and more water, if needed, to make dough barely
stick together. Put dough into a plastic bag and shape it into a
long roll about 1 inch wide. The easiest shape is a squared roll.
Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
Cut roll into 1/4-inch slices and place them on a baking sheet.
They will not spread, so you can place them close together.
Bake at 325 degrees F on top rack of oven for 15 to 20 minutes.