Benne (or sesame) seeds play an integral role in both savory and sweet dishes throughout the coastal Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, and rare is the Charleston or Savannah cocktail reception or tea that doesn’t include a bowl of these tiny nuggets, which are eaten almost like peanuts. Benne bits are available in tins all over Charleston (and by mail), but I’ve yet to taste a commercial product that can equal the freshly baked nuggets. Do be very careful not to burn the benne seeds, toasting them only till they’re golden brown.
Scatter the benne seeds evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring, till golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the butter in pieces and work with your fingertips till the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the benne seeds, milk, and water and mix with your hands till the dough is smooth.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface about
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