Soft biscotti are the perfect dairy-free treat for any time of the day! Even the crunchy version is not as hard as regular biscotti, so you don’t need to dip them into tea or coffee before eating them unless you want to! This recipe makes about 40-45 biscotti (depending on how thick you slice them), so they’re great for large family gatherings or the holiday season!
Paximadakia are the small Greek version of traditional Italian biscotti. The twist for this recipe is that the biscotti are soft instead of hard like regular biscotti, which makes them so good and addicting!
My grandma (yiayia in Greek) used to make paximadakia when she would visit us on the weekends. She made the regular kind, but she would also make a soft version of biscotti that was amazing! These paximadakia are soft and slightly sweet, with hints of orange and cinnamon flavour.
I thought my yiayia made a soft version just for me, but now I know it’s actually the same recipe as Greek biscotti, and they’re just baked for longer in the oven. Luckily, my mom still has her soft biscotti recipe!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- If you’re looking for a crunchy biscotti recipe, you can follow this recipe but bake the biscotti for another 10-15 minutes in the oven to get more crispy and crunchy biscotti. Or, if you’re looking for a lemon white chocolate biscotti (who isn’t haha), then this lemon biscotti recipe is for you!
With hints of orange and subtle sweetness from the sugar, these biscotti are perfect just on their own. This simple recipe is made with freshly squeezed orange juice, oil, all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, orange zest, pure vanilla extract, and brandy.
HOW TO SHAPE BISCOTTI LOAVES
You can shape the biscotti loaves as wide or as narrow as you’d like. I usually make four loaves that are approximately 3 inches wide and 10″ in length. The dough will slightly expand as you score them and also when the loaves bake. The length of the loaves is up to you!
When working with the dough to shape it into loaves, grease your hands with a little bit of oil or water. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and will make it easier to shape.
Once the loaves are formed, use your fingers to gently push together the long sides of the log until you reach your desired shape. If you’d like to sprinkle the logs with raw sesame seeds, you can do that just before you place the biscotti loaves in the oven for the first bake.
- Non-stick large baking sheet and cooling rack
- Electric stand mixer and mixing bowl with the whisk attachment
- Large glass bowl or stainless steel bowl
- Your loaves should be the same size so that they can bake evenly.
- These biscotti are smaller and not as long as traditional biscotti.
- The dough will be sticky, but that’s ok! Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes in a greased bowl before shaping it into loaves. Lightly grease your hands with oil or water to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Since we’re making soft biscotti, the second bake will be at a lower temperature and for only about 15-20 minutes. If you like more of a crunch to your biscotti, then you can bake your biscotti in the oven for longer.
Below are some notes about the ingredients used for this recipe. For a full list of ingredients, please review the recipe card below.
Flour: I recommend all-purpose flour for this recipe. The dough is meant to be sticky, but if it’s too sticky that it’s hard to shape, you may need to add a little extra flour. But be careful not to add too much flour, or the biscotti will be really dry.
Extra virgin olive oil: Adding a small amount of extra virgin olive oil adds richness and more flavour to the biscotti than when only using vegetable oil. If you don’t have olive oil on hand, then you can swap it out for more mazola oil or another vegetable oil.
Eggs: The eggs should be at room temperature. If possible, allow them to sit out of the fridge at room temperature for about an hour. If the eggs are at room temperature, they will mix better with the sugar.
Orange juice: I recommend fresh orange juice for this recipe to maximize the flavour. For approximately 1/4 a cup of orange juice, you’ll need 1 large navel orange. The amount of orange juice you get from one orange will vary on the size and ripeness of the orange.
If you have a carton of orange juice in your fridge and you’d like to use that instead, then you can use it instead of fresh orange juice, but you would want to use no-pulp orange juice with no added sugar. Otherwise, it may change the flavour, texture, and sweetness of the biscotti.
Cognac or brandy: Both cognac and brandy enhance the flavour of these biscotti, but you don’t need to include any alcohol if you don’t want to.
Orange zest: It’s best to use fresh zest because there is more flavour. If you zest the orange and let it sit out for too long or refrigerate it overnight, it will lose some flavour. When zesting oranges, zest only the bright outside skin. Getting too deep into the white part, known as the pith, can be bitter.
Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are optional, but be sure to get raw sesame seeds. The pre-toasted ones will burn too quickly in the oven.
HOW TO MAKE SOFT GREEK BISCOTTI: STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: Preheat your oven. Your oven temperature should be at 350 degrees F on convection bake.
STEP 2: Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and brandy in a mixing bowl. Beat the egg mixture until it’s frothy and pale yellow in colour. Zest the oranges and then cut them in half to squeeze the juice. Then add in both the olive oil and mazola oil, orange juice, and orange zest. While adding in these ingredients, the mixer should be on low-medium speed (#2 or #4 on a KitchenAid mixer).
STEP 3: Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, sift five and a quarter cups of all-purpose flour into a large bowl. Add in the cinnamon, ground clove powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Whisk together.
STEP 4: Mix together dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Clean a medium-sized surface like your kitchen counter or table. You’ll use this area to shape the biscotti dough into loaves. With the mixer on low, slowly spoon the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix the ingredients in the mixer.
Once the dry ingredients are absorbed, turn off the mixer. The dough will be slightly sticky but should be pliable. Lightly oil a separate glass bowl or stainless steel medium-sized bowl. Transfer the dough from the mixing bowl to the greased bowl and let the dough rest for about 10-15 minutes, uncovered at room temperature.
STEP 5: Roll the dough into loaves. After 10-15 minutes, transfer the dough from the greased bowl to a clean flat surface. Rub some oil on the palms of your hand and begin to form the dough into a ball, and then roll it out horizontally into one log. Use a sharp knife to cut the biscotti dough into four equal size pieces.
STEP 6: Score the loaves. Shape the dough with your hands to create flat, narrow loaves. The length is up to you, but the width should be about 2-3 inches wide. It’s a good idea to keep the loaves similar in size so that they bake evenly. The biscotti will expand slightly when baking and when you press down to score them.
Use a butter knife to score the dough diagonally into pieces about 1/2″ – 3/4 inch wide. But make sure that the knife doesn’t go all the way through to the bottom of the cookie sheet. You can make the biscotti pieces thicker if you’d like. Thicker biscotti will need longer to bake in the oven.
STEP 7: Bake the loaves (first bake). Place the scored loaves on a non-stick baking sheet and allow them to bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees F on convection bake or until lightly golden brown.
STEP 8: Cool and cut the loaves into biscotti. Let the loaves cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, and then carefully transfer them to a wire rack. Allow the loaves to cool for at least 15-20 minutes on a wire rack.
This step will help prevent the biscotti from crumbling as easily when you cut them into pieces. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and use a sharp serrated bread knife to cut the biscotti along the score lines all the way to the bottom.
STEP 9: Second bake. Place the cut biscotti on the baking sheet and back in your oven for 15-20 minutes at 250 degrees F on convection bake. The low temperature of the oven and longer baking time will allow the biscotti to bake without browning too much. Once they’re ready, remove them from the oven and place the biscotti on a wire rack to cool. Time to enjoy soft and delicious paximadakia!
HOW CAN I MAKE SOFT BISCOTTI CRISPY?
You’re in luck! If you want to make these into hard biscotti, then once you cut the soft pillowy loaves all the way to the bottom, place the cut biscotti back onto the cookie sheet and bake them again for at least 30 minutes at 250 degrees F. The longer the biscotti is in the oven, the crispier they will be.
HOW LONG DOES BISCOTTI LAST?
This recipe makes about 40-45 cookies (depending on their thickness) which is great because soft biscotti can last for about a week at room temperature in an airtight container. But, they will taste fresher if eaten within a couple of days from baking. Hard biscotti can also be stored at room temperature but have a longer shelf life since they’ll already be crunchy. You can enjoy hard biscotti for up to two weeks!
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Soft Biscotti Recipe
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 oz of Metaxa brandy
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup mazola oil or another vegetable oil
- Orange zest from two large oranges approximately one tablespoon
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice approximately two large navel oranges
- 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour you may need a little more flour when mixing the dough
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove powder
- 3 teaspoons baking powder level
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit on convection bake.
- Use an electric mixer. Add the eggs to the mixing bowl and begin to mix using the whisk attachment. Slowly add the sugar, pure vanilla extract, and brandy to the eggs. The mixer should be on low speed (#2 on a KitchenAid mixer). Then, add the oil, orange juice, and orange zest.
- In a separate bowl, sift five and a quarter cups of flour into a separate large bowl. Add in the cinnamon, ground clove powder, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk together.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl. Once all of the flour is absorbed, turn off the mixer. The dough will be sticky, but it should be pliable.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Transfer the biscotti dough from the mixing bowl to the new greased bowl. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature and uncovered for 10-15 minutes. The dough should be sticky, but if it's too sticky to shape into loaves after allowing the dough to rest, then this is where you can add a little more flour as you shape the biscotti.
- Clean a large surface like your kitchen counter or kitchen table. When you're ready to roll out the dough, lightly oil your hands with a bit of oil. Gather the dough from the bowl and roll the dough into a log. Cut the dough into four equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and then use your hands to shape the dough into a flat narrow log about 3 inches wide and an inch in height. The length can be up to you! But try to make the logs similar in size so that they bake evenly in the oven. Place the loaves on a cookie sheet.
- Use a butter knife to score the loaves diagonally into pieces about 1/2" - 3/4" wide. But make sure that the knife doesn't go all the way through to the bottom of the cookie sheet. It's just to mark the dough so that you know where to cut the baked biscotti.
- Allow the loaves to bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 325 degrees F on convection bake.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the loaves cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool for 15-20 minutes. This step will help prevent the biscotti from crumbling. Use a sharp serrated knife and cut along the score lines all the way to the bottom.
- Place the cut biscotti back in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 250 degrees F. If you like them soft, then you can take the biscotti out earlier. The longer they bake, the crispier they will be.
- Remove the biscotti from the oven and place them on a cookie sheet to cool. Enjoy!
- If you like, you can sprinkle raw sesame seeds on top of the unbaked biscotti loaves before you place them into your oven. If you use pre-toasted sesame seeds, they will turn really dark when baked so it's best to use raw sesame seeds.
- You may need to sprinkle extra flour on the dough as you form the dough balls so it's a good idea to have about 1/4 cup beside you as you shape the loaves.
- The dough will be sticky but it should also be pliable so you can form the dough into biscotti logs.
- The longer you bake the biscotti during the second bake, the crispier it'll be. If you like your biscotti softer then you can take out the biscotti earlier from the oven.
Date Published: June 25, 2022