Greeks have a love affair with paximadia and I am one of them. Greek Biscotti are a staple of Greek cuisine and are an everyday well-loved cookie. A small scoop of cranberries is added to the dough, delivering a major pop of colour and flavour. Cranberries are a delicious superfruit delivering a healthy punch of antioxidants. Omit if you like but we find them to be a welcome surprise.
Paximadia are a crunchy cookie, double-baked and made with simple ingredients of flour, olive oil, for natural sweetness – freshly squeezed orange juice and topped with sesame seeds.
You will find most recipes for paximadia include a whopping cup of sugar. To keep with the times, in this recipe the generous serve of freshly squeezed orange juice adds natural sweetness to the paximadia negating the need for added sugar. In fact at home, I won’t add additional sugar to the mixture at all. So feel free to omit altogether. If you feel you would like a little extra sweetness perhaps add a quarter of a cup or the standard whole cup of sugar.
One request, freshly squeeze the juice rather than using bottled juice. Don’t strain the pulp, I throw that in.
Unsweetened and vegan-friendly Cranberry Paximadia are long-lasting if stored in an air-tight container.
Greek and Italian biscotti differ in that traditional greek biscotti is made without the addition of eggs and utilize olive oil instead of butter. Both are equally nice, it really just depends on your dietary needs.
These are not your average dry biscuit. They have the right amount of crunchiness and snap so they are versatile enough to be dunked into hot tea or coffee, but are not too hard to be eaten on their own.
Most of the time I keep them in a sealed jar next to my coffee machine and tea kettle. The added benefit of never being caught off guard when someone pops over.
Greeks have a love affair with paximadia. Greek Biscotti are a staple of greek cuisine and are an everyday well-loved cookie. I have added cranberries to this very traditional biscotti. Omit if you like and substitute with anise seeds for a totally authentic Peloponesse Biscuit but we find their tartness to be a welcome surprise. These Paximadia are 'nistisima' and vegan.
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- 1 cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup caster sugar (optional)
- 2 cups Self Raising Flour Sifted
- 1 cup Spelt Flour
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup pistachios or roasted roughly crushed almonds
- In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients and stir.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and bicarbonate together. As you stir slowly add flour mixture. When it is too thick you will need to use your hands. To mix in all the flour. Don't over-knead.
- Add your pistachios/almonds and dried fruit. Maybe half the quantity first. See if you would like to add the rest before mixing through the remainder.
- Roll into a log, then with a knife make slices but don't slice all the way down. Your cuts should be slightly diagonal and approximately 1.5 cm apart. If they are too close together you will find they will be difficult to cut when cooked without crumbling.
- Watch the video attached to the recipe for details on how to cut.
- Place onto a greased tray and bake in a fan-forced oven at 170-degree Fan Forced Oven for 40 minutes. I usually steal a corner piece and try it before deciding whether I'd like to bake the cookie further.
- Turn oven off, allow the biscotti to cool. Then slice on the perforation you made earlier. Place them back on the baking tray preferably standing. So that they bake on both sides.
- Bake again but this time in a moderately slow oven (120 degrees Celcius ) for 30 minutes.
- Your olive oil and orange juice will always be 1:1 ratio. Follow this general rule of thumb when making paximadia.
- Substitute the cranberries and pistachios with 2 tablespoons anise seeds and also add 1/4 cup caster sugar in step 1 to make an Authentically flavoured Paximadi.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice is important for this recipe.
- Your cooking time will vary slightly. Allow for this variation.
- You can add sugar, a fine grade sugar would be recommended - caster sugar.