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Who says the Greeks didn't borrow anything from the Romans (or at least the Greeks from the Italians!)? This very tasty treat is pronounced 'Pahk-see-mah-THAHK-yah' in Greek, & the original recipe, which I've cut back considerably, made 10 dozen of these little buggers! Because these paximathakia are made without eggs & butter, they can be stored (after cooling COMPLETELY!) for up to 2 months in airtight plastic containers, & can be frozen. Preparation time does not include time needed for the slices to completely between the two baking sessions or at the end of the last baking time!
- Dissolve baking soda in orange juice, then pour into large mixing bowl.
- In the same large mixing bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice & zest, cinnamon, water & sesame seeds.
- With electric mixer, beat at medium high for 5 minutes until thoroughly combined & oil & juices are not separating. [If mixing by hand, use a whisk & beat until thoroughly blended.].
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 8 cups of the flour, along with the sugar & baking powder.
- Slowly add dry mixture to liquid mixture, using either dough hooks or wooden spoon. As it the dough get stiffer, knead with hands until dough holds together, then turn out onto a floured surface.
- Knead well for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until dough is smooth & soft. [Dough will be softer & oilier than other cokie doughs.].
- Divide dough into 4 parts to make 4 small loaves.
- Preheat oven to 390 degrees F.
- For each of the 4 small loaves, knead dough until dense & holding together tightly, then form it into a loaf shape about 14 inches long & 1/2" to 3/4" high.
- Place seam side down. Then, using a floured knife (NOT serrated), slice loaf almost all the way through into 1/2" to 3/4" slices.
- Place loaves on non-stick or lightly oiled cookie sheet & bake 15 minutes, about 3-4 inches above the bottom of the oven. The bottom should be golden & the top should be just starting to brown.
- Remove loaves from oven & cut all the way through the slices, then allow to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to between 200 degrees & 210 degrees F.
- When sliced loaves are completely cooled, place all slices upright in a very lightly oiled or non-stick baking sheet.
- Return to cooler oven & bake for at least another 1 1/2 hours [for 2 hours if you want the biscotti to be really dry].
- NOTE: To toast sesame seeds, place in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet or baking pan & roast about 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- NOTE: To grind toasted sesame seeds, use a small mixer/chopper, a coffee bean grinder or a mortar & pestle.