PA-XI-MÀ-DIA is just the word that designates the Greek version of BISCUITS or BISCOTTI and this is a ‘staple product’ in my parent’s home (I mean the sweeter version and not the neutral ones resembling rusks). This is my adaptation of my mom’s version that just about everybody that I know and their friends have tasted. They’re crumbly, not too sweet (but you can add more sugar if you like) and slightly spicy. My mom’s version is a bit paler in color but I Iike to use half whole wheat flour which darkens them. My mom’s version is also smoother in texture but I like to play with the textures and personally add some coarsely chopped walnuts and cognac pre-soaked whole raisins and/or cranberries in the dough to “jazz” them up.
I guess I’ve been making them weekly, alongside the “sliced sandwich bread & toast” I published last week (see the recipe here) as early morning options to go along with my coffee, before running off to work and continuing my work marathon.
The instructions are rather straightforward. A biscuit or biscotti or a “paximadi” (singular for paximadia) is something that is always baked twice. The first time, it is partly sliced and partly baked and the second time, it is fully sliced and separated into individual biscuits and re-baked to end up drying out in a hot until completely cooled and turned-off oven until crispy.
The trick here is ‘shaping’ the dough into long logs (or sausages). Use baking paper to roll them up and even them out the first time and then use baking paper again a second time, but this time sprinkled with many seeds to fully coat the logs before baking them, otherwise they’ll be too soft (even after chilling) and too sticky without the sesame seeds coating (and whatever else seeds you have) to solidify them and for you to handle them.
They really are quite a sweet early morning comfort with your coffee and tea or a mid-afternoon snack and if you have a large oven (mine is tiny), then triple the volume of the recipe and make 6 logs to be sliced, as my mom does, because they last forever (okay, 1 month) in a tin . . . :)