Study sesame

I’ve finally resurfaced from a month of study hell, and boy, does it feel good. The lack of posting around here has mainly been attributable to the fact that I’ve been studying for a biology exam that took place yesterday. Passing this human biology course is a condition of starting my midwifery degree in the fall, so you know, I had to make an effort.

In the end it was fine. The short answer questions on a ragbag collection of topics utterly threw me, as the examiners seemed to have abandoned all the usual suspects from past exam papers and decided to throw us a serious curveball instead. So much for my encyclopaedic knowledge of the endocrine system! Luckily the data handling and essay questions were just what I expected – my saving grace! I wrote a very nice essay on “the processes involved in the digestion of a roast chicken dinner”.

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I could try to share my exam experience with you by writing a whole new essay on the processes involved in digesting these delicious sesame crackers and a piece of cheese alongside them, but I’ll spare you that particular delight. (I can tell you that the terms peristalsis, enzymes, chyme and amino acids would be used a lot.) Instead, I’ll just tell you that these crackers are really easy, quick and yummy. They’re also perfect for some study session brain food.

Sesame Crackers

Makes about 4 dozen
2 cups all purpose / plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 /3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus a bit more for sprinkling
1 egg, beaten, for brushing on top

Preheat the oven to 220 C / 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, seeds and Parmesan in a large bowl. Stir in the water and oil and with a wooden spoon, or your hands, mix until a smooth dough forms.

Halve the dough and flatten one piece into a large rectangle directly on the prepared baking sheet. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, score the dough into two dozen pieces. Pierce it all over with fork, brush generously with the egg, and sprinkle with extra Parmesan. Repeat with second half of dough.

Bake in the centre of the oven until the crackers are dry and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool the pans on a wire rack and, once cool, break the crackers apart along the scoring line. Store in an airtight container.