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  • Writer's pictureHila

Baking with Tahini

Leave the grain flour to a conventional bread, and use tahini to bake a nice loaf of seed bread.

How is it possible?

If you have ever tried to make tahini sauce, you would know that when you add some water to the quite liquid raw tahini and stir it, it turns into a stiff, doughy lump of mud that resembles dough. Adding an egg and leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda) to this mud substance can bake a nice loaf of bread. Tahini is much closer to flour than it seems!

When you take starchy seeds (such as sesame - tahini's single ingredient) and grind them until fine, it results in a powder or a type of flour. Sesame flour, in our case. The sesame seeds "flour grains" float comfortably in vast amounts of sesame oil (the raw tahini usually contains a little more than 50% oil). Still, inside, it hides a considerable amount of solid powder (usually a little less than 50%). Even though the oil is liquid, it does not wet the grains. On the contrary, it wraps and surrounds them from all sides and keeps them dry from the moisture in the air.

That is precisely why this phenomenon seems so miraculous. We think that if the tahini is liquid, it is wet, but reality tells an entirely different story. Mixing water into the raw tahini, the sesame flour finally gets wet. Then, what happens to any flour happens to it—the small grains swell and become sticky, which causes them to stick to each other in water and become dough.

The dough sits in a puddle of oil, but it is still doughy, stiff, and uncomfortable to mix—at least until you add enough liquid to squeeze between the grains, separate them, and create the beloved creamy texture of the classic tahini sauce. Add Salt, lemon, garlic, and parsley; now you know how it happened.

Translated and edited from a Hebrew Article written by Blidad Hashuchi on Calcalist

Now, let's get into the kitchen!

Tahini Loaf

A tahini loaf has become the Passover bread in many Israeli households, as one of this holiday’s rituals is to refrain from eating grains. This loaf is an excellent example of grain not being necessary for bread making, and seeds can be a good alternative. It is not a cake-like bread, so do not add it to your banana or zucchini bread file. It has a neutral flavor, is dense, and can be nicely sliced, just like any bread for a sandwich (minus the crust). Toast it if you wish, and pair it with any sweet or savory spread.

Makes one loaf (use a 9" loaf pan)


  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup (120gr) tahini paste

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 Tbsp baking soda

  • 2 Tbsp date molasses/honey/pure maple

  • 3 Tbsp ground flaxseeds

  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 360℉, line a 9” loaf pan with baking paper.

  2. Mix all dry ingredients: baking soda, salt, ground flaxseeds, and sesame seeds (leave some seeds to sprinkle atop the bread). Set aside.

  3. Whisk the eggs in a stand mixer bowl for 4-5 min until pale and fluffy.

  4. Add the tahini and the date molasses (or any other natural sweeteners) to the bowl and mix until just incorporated.

  5. Fold in the dry ingredient mixture and blend until well incorporated.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and top with the reserved sesame seeds.

  7. Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry. If you prefer a darker and dryer loaf, you may need to bake for 3-5 minutes.

  8. When fully baked, transfer to a cooling rack.

  9. Enjoy within five days at room temperature or freeze.


  • You can improvise with the added seeds. Instead of ground flaxseeds and sesame seeds, add 3 Tablespoons of whole flax seeds and sunflower seeds.

  • If you wish to add nuts or other heavy ingredients like raisins or dates, you will need to finely chop or grind them. Otherwise, they will sink during baking and end up at the bottom of your loaf.

Tahini Cookies

I grew up eating sesame candies and tahini-based sweets such as halvah. My mom used to bake tahini cookies when I was a kid in the 1980s. So, when I started selling tahini-centered creations at the Needham farmer’s market in the fall of 2017, it was natural to include tahini cookies in my offering.  

Many eyebrows were raised back then, but in the past six years or so, the word has become fascinating about incorporating tahini into sweet baked goods. I wish I could credit that to my little farm stand rather than to social media platforms that have played a definitive role in spreading such trends worldwide.


Here, I'm sharing the original recipe, which, despite its simplicity, calls for some less common ingredients like whole Spelt flour and date syrup. If these items aren't staples in your pantry, consider this an opportunity to explore new ingredients.

What imparts a delightful softness and buttery flavor to these cookies (with no use of any dairy butter, as they are vegan) is the prominent use of tahini as the main ingredient and the brief baking time that allows its rich essence to shine through.

Makes 20 cookies


  • 1 cup (240 gr) raw tahini

  • 1 ¾ cup (200 gr) whole spelt flour

  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) cane sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons (45 gr) date molasses/honey/maple

  • ¼ cup (50 gr) coconut oil

  • 3 Tbsp (30 gr) sesame seeds (optional)



  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Add all dry ingredients and lightly blend in a mixer bowl with a hook attachment.

  3. Pour in all other ingredients and blend at low speed until well combined. Stop the mixer and make sure to blend in all dry ingredients that have settled on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Work it in as needed until a soft and a bit greasy dough comes together.

  4. Roll into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place 1” apart on the baking pan and flatten with a fork or your fingers to half an inch-thick cookies.

  5. Bake for 8-9 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! The cookies should be pale and soft. Let them sit on the sheet to cool and harden before removing them to a plate.

  6. Store in an airtight container for about a week. It also freezes well—just make sure to defrost inside a sealed bag or container.


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