Paximathakia Portokaliou - Orange Sesame Biscotti
Greece is known for its olive oil and for it's fabulous sweets. The tradition of sweets made with olive oil is centuries old. These wonderful twice-baked cookies do not need to be dunked in coffee, tea, or milk but they are perfect for it.
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- 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice, strained
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, strained
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon peel, grated
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water
- 3 1⁄2-3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
You do not have to use the most expensive olive oil, just use a good one, the better quality of olive oil the better the biscotti.
To toast sesame seeds, place in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet or baking pan and roast for about 10 minutes at 400°F
To grind the toasted sesame seeds, use a small mixer/chopper, a coffee bean grinder, or a mortar and pestle.
Make sure to cool the biscotti completely before storing.
The biscotti may be stored in airtight plastic containers (not refrigerated) for several months or frozen for longer because they contain no butter or eggs.
Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice.
In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, cinnamon, orange and lemon juice with baking soda, grated peel, water, and sesame seeds.
Beat at medium high for 5 minutes until thoroughly combined and the oil and juices are not separating. (If mixing by hand, use a whisk and beat until thoroughly blended.).
Add the dry mixture to the liquid slowly, using dough hooks or a wooden spoon.
Knead with hands in the bowl until the dough holds together then turn out on a floured surface.
Knead well for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and soft. (The dough will be softer and oilier than other cookie dough).
Divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts to make 2 or 3 small loaves. .
Knead the dough until dense (holding together tightly), forming it into a loaf shape.
Pinch the seam together, and form it into a loaf that is approximately 14 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inch high.
Place the seam side down.
Using a floured knife (not serrated), slice the loaf almost all the way through into 1/2 to 3/4" slices.
Place the loaves on a lightly oiled (or non-stick) cookie sheet or baking pan and bake for 15 minutes at 390°F (200°C) 3 - 4 inches above the bottom of the oven.
Remove the loaves from the oven and cut all the way through the slices. Allow to cool completely.