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Sesame Stick Breads

Sesame Stick Breads

These sesame coated breads are based on the ones I used to feed my food tour clients in Haifa. Baked up at a hole-in-the wall bakery, there was always a large tray coming out of the oven, just as we passed. Nutty, with a hit of salt, the flavor is reminiscent of a soft pretzel, and is totally addictive.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 11 large stick breadsServings



  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup neutral vegetable oil, like safflower oil
  • 2¾ cups water

For coating the breads:

  • ~2 cups water for dipping
  • 1½ cups sesame seeds 
  • Scant tablespoon coarse salt


 1. In an extra-large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, and water to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise 2-3 hours, until tripled in size.

2. Divide the risen dough into 11 parts. Form each part into a ball, then turn over to pinch closed the bottom seam.

3. Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll into a long skinny strand roughly the same length as a large baking tray (about 13 inches long).

4. Dip the strand of dough in a baking dish filled one third the way with water, then dip in a second baking dish with the sesame seeds and salt. Roll to coat on all sides.

5. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray lined up to the very edge. Repeat the process with the remaining balls of dough, placing the remaining strands down onto the tray pressed up against one another, with no space in between.

6. Let rise until visibly puffed, 30 minutes-1 hour. Meanwhile preheat oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until deeply golden brown.

8. Let cool from steaming hot to warm before pulling apart and eating. These are best served and eaten fresh.