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Breakfasts, Desserts

Paximathakia Portokaliou

Paximathakia Portokaliou
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

If you're Italian, it's biscotti or cantucci. If you're Jewish, it's mandelbrot or mandel bread. If you're Greek, it's paximathakia. In Morocco, it's fekkas, and in the Ukraine, kamishbrot. And those are just a few of the names for the ... Read more

Total time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours | Makes about 4 to 5 dozen cookies
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons pulp-free orange juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 1/2 cups (14.88 ounces) flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice.

Step 3To the orange juice, add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, water, cinnamon and sesame seeds. Beat with the whisk attachment or using a hand mixer at medium speed until thoroughly combined, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 4In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Step 5Add the dry ingredients to the liquid in the mixing bowl slowly, using a dough hook or a wooden spoon. Then knead with your hands in the bowl until the dough holds together. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and soft, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed.

Step 6Divide the dough in half and knead again until it is dense and holds together lightly. Form each half into a loaf about 14 inches in length and one-half to three-fourths inch high and place on the cookie sheet. Using a floured knife, partially cut the dough into one-half inch slices (slice almost to the bottom but not all the way through each slice). Repeat with the remaining half of dough, forming a second log and leaving a few inches between each as the loaves will expand as they bake.

Step 7Bake the loaves until the bottom of each loaf is golden and the tops are just starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees. When the dough is cool enough to handle, cut the slices all the way through. Place them upright on the cookie sheet, leaving a little space between each cookie. Return to the oven and bake until very dry, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Step 8Cool completely before storing in airtight containers or in the freezer.

Note: Adapted from Greek Food at About.com by Nancy Gaifyllia.


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