How to make Biscotti plus lots of Biscotti Recipes
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What are Biscotti?
Also known as biscotti di Prato they originated in the Italian city of Prato.
Biscotti is the plural form of biscotto. The name comes from the
medieval Latin word biscoctus, which means "twice-cooked/baked".
Originally the term referred to items which were baked twice so they became very
dry and could therefore be stored for a long time which was particularly useful
during long journeys. These types of twice baked foods became a staple
food for Roman Legions during their long campaigns. Today Biscotti have
become more popular as a sweet (ish) biscuit for dunking in coffee and
they have become a common item sold the world over in coffee houses.
How to make Biscotti - general instructions for making Biscotti
As mentioned above, biscotti has to be baked twice to achieve the right texture.
The first baking results in a quite soft almost cake-like item which is baked in
a slab. This is then cut into long or short lengths which are then returned to
the oven and baked again to create quite dry biscuits.
Basic Biscotti Mix
The basic mixture for a Biscotti recipe is as follows
50g/2oz Butter or margarine (shortening)
225g/8oz self raising flour
¼ teasp Salt
100g/4oz Chopped Almonds (can be omitted or substituted with other nuts or
These quantities are enough to make about 24 small Biscotti, about 7cm x 2.5cm
(3 x 1-inch) however, as they are baked until quite dry, they should store for
weeks, so it's well worth doubling or trebling the quantities to make a larger
Mixing the Biscotti ingredients
Although the traditional method is to cream together the butter and sugar, then
add the egg, mixing well, before adding the flour and other ingredients, quite
good results can be achieved by just placing all the ingredients in the mixing
bowl at the same time (with the exception of any additional nuts or fruit if
using), as does mixing the Biscotti ingredients in a food mixer or processor.
How to form Biscotti
Once the dough has been made, it should be formed into cylinders before being
placed on flat baking trays. The size of these will depend on the end size
of biscotti required, however for small biscotti as above, aim at making
the cylinders around 24cm/10-inches long x 7cm/3-inches wide and just under
2.5cm/1-inch deep. Either line the trays with baking parchment or lightly
grease and flour them to prevent the biscotti from sticking. These cylinders are then
baked (see below for details) after which they are removed from the oven,
allowed to cool a little then, using a serrated knife they are cut into small
individual biscotti , usually on the diagonal, about 2.5cm/1-inch thick.