Bursting with orange flavour and naturally vegan, paximadia are crunchy Greek cookies similar to biscotti. So get your coffee ready - these delicious treats are perfect for dunking!
What are paximadia?
Paximadia are twice-baked cookies and are very similar to biscotti. They are often called the Greek version of Italian biscotti. They are commonly referred to in Greece as "voutimata" (βουτήματα) - loosely translated as dunking cookies or biscuits. (These cookies are also known as "biskota" (μπισκότα) - the Greek word for biscuits).
The more traditional paximadia are thick slices of twice-baked bread made with barley flour, rehydrated with water, and often used in salads or as a Greek appetizer.
Why you'll love this recipe
- They're the perfect dunking cookie for a cup of coffee or tea.
- The recipe is quite flexible. You can jazz up the base recipe with whatever you like.
- It uses olive oil. Like my vegan lemon cookies and many traditional Greek recipes, paximadia are made with olive oil, giving the cookies a unique and delicious flavour profile.
- They last a long time.
What you need to make this recipe
- All-purpose flour - I'm using regular all-purpose flour for this. You can use self-rising flour but omit the baking powder.
- Sugar - granulated sugar works perfectly for this paximadia recipe.
- Olive oil - I'm opting for a "light" olive oil (light in flavour, not calories). Avoid extra virgin olive oil, as it can be intense and overpowering. You can use vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Orange juice and orange zest - the orange works beautifully in this recipe, providing a fresh flavour. Suppose you're not a fan of orange, sub with water instead.
- Baking soda & baking powder - act as leavening agents.
- Ouzo - (optional) - adds a subtle aniseed flavour. Sub with a teaspoon of ground anise (or whole anise seeds) if you don't have ouzo, or leave it out altogether.
- Sesame seeds - provide an aromatic, nutty topping and work perfectly with Greek biscotti.
- Almonds - I'm using slivered almonds for paximadia - sub with pistachios, pecans or walnuts if you prefer.
Suggested recipe ingredients
Consider adding the following to make these Greek biscotti extra special:
- ½ cup of dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, plums, figs or apricots.
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon for an aromatic hit.
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract - for added flavour. Amy's makes things better!).
- ½ cup of chocolate chips (because chocolate always makes things better!).
How to make this recipe
The full recipe for paximadia can be found in the recipe card below.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, ouzo, orange juice and zest.
Using a spoon, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until you have a soft, pliable dough. Fold the almonds through last.
Divide the dough into 3 - then shape each into a flat log. Score the top with a sharp knife and bake for 45 mins.
Using a serrated knife, cut through the loaf gently (use the pre-scored lines as your guide) to create the paximadia cookies.
Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake again in a preheated 140°C (280°F) for 30 mins - turning them over halfway.
- If you prefer softer paximadia, bake them for less than the recommended time (try 20 mins instead).
- Use fresh orange juice for this recipe - not from a carton.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the cookies, and be very gentle, as they can easily crumble and fall apart.
- Use a stand mixer to form the dough instead of using your hands.
Storing & freezing
- Store the paximadia in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
- You can also store any uncooked dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 months if you don't plan to use it immediately. Make sure to form it into a loaf, wrap it with parchment paper (or wax paper), then with plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. Thaw the frozen dough overnight in the fridge, leave it out at room temperature and follow the baking instructions stated in the recipe.
Paximadi (Greek plural paximadía) means "twice baked" in modern Greek. It originally referred to hard, twice-cooked bread made from wheat flour and water.
The pronunciation of Paximadia is pa-xee-ma-thee-ah.
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Greek Biscotti (Paximadia)
- 450 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 100 grams sugar
- 250 ml olive oil, light (see note 1)
- 250 ml orange juice, (see note 2)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, approx. zest of 1 orange
- 60 ml ouzo, (optional) (see note 3)
- 60 grams slivered almonds , (see note 4)
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. (see note 5)
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, ouzo, orange juice and zest.
- Using a spoon, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until you have a soft, pliable dough.
- Add the almonds and fold through the dough, ensuring not to overwork it.
- Divide the dough into three portions and shape it into a flat log. The log should measure approximately 25 cm (10") in length and 10 cm (4 ") in width.
- Place the shaped log onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and score the top using a sharp knife. Score the dough at approx 1.5 cm (half an inch), sprinkle the sesame seeds and bake in a preheated 180°C (350°F) oven for approximately 45 minutes. Allow cooling completely. (see note 6)
- Using a serrated knife, cut through the loaf gently (use the pre-scored lines as your guide) to create the paximadia cookies.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake again in a preheated 140°C (280°F) for 30 mins - turning them over halfway. (see note 7)
- Once baked and crispy, allow them to cool completely before enjoying them with Greek coffee or tea.
- Avoid extra virgin olive oil, as it can be intense and overpowering. You can use vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Use fresh orange juice - not from aa carton.
- Sub with a teaspoon of ground anise (or whole anise seeds) if you don't have ouzo, or leave it out altogether if you don't like it.
- Sub with pistachios, pecans or walnuts if you prefer.
- Use a stand mixer to form the dough instead of using your hands.
- Each log should yield approximately 12 cookies.
- If you prefer softer paximadia, bake them for less than the recommended time for the second bake (try 20 mins instead).
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Souvlaki For the Soul
This post was first published in 2009 but was updated with new pictures and information in November 2022.