Source: “The Cookbook” – Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Sift the flour, baking powder, paprika and cayenne into a bowl and add the salt and pepper.
Mix the softened butter with the freshly grated Parmesan until they are well combined (by the way, don’t even consider using the so-called Parmesan cheese you find in the pasta aisle of your supermarket) . You can do this either by hand, using a spatula, or in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
Put the dough on a well-floured work surface and divide it in two equal parts.
Use plenty of flour, both on your hands and on the work surface, to roll each piece into a long log, 3–4cm in diameter. Wrap each log in cling film and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to firm up.
Scatter the poppy seeds over a flat plate or tray. Brush the logs with the beaten egg and then roll them in the poppy seeds until covered.
Refrigerate again for 1 hour (at this stage you can also wrap the logs and freeze them).
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Cut the logs into slices 5–8mm thick and arrange them on the tray, spaced 3cm apart. Bake for 12 minutes. The biscuits should be dark golden and smell amazing!
To ensure their crunchiness, leave to cool completely before serving, or store in a tightly sealed container.