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Biscotti

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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)

100g/4oz Sugar

2 Eggs

225g/8oz self raising flour

teasp Salt

100g/4oz Chopped Almonds (can be omitted or substituted with other nuts or fruit)

 

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 batch.

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.

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At what oven temperature should Biscotti be cooked ?

 

1st Baking  For the first baking of the whole cylinders, preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5 although if you have a fan assisted oven, you should reduce the temperature accordingly.

 

2nd Baking  Once the cylinders have have been baked and cut into individual biscotti, the second baking should be done at the slightly lower temperature of 150C, 300F, Gas Mark 2 to ensure they dry out sufficiently without burning.

 

For how long should Biscotti be cooked?

 

If you are using the above guidelines the first  cooking time will be around  25 minutes.

Once cut into individual biscuits, the second baking will take around 20 minutes, turning the biscuits over half way through.  The biscotti should be placed on the baking tray cut sides down.  If you decide to make slightly larger Biscotti, they will need extra baking time.

 

Biscotti Recipes

 

Below are a few Biscotti recipes plus a video showing you how to make these scrumptious Cherry Pistachio Biscotti in easy to follow steps.

 

For the full sized video and written recipe click here.

Top Biscotti Recipes

 

 

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