I can’t remember when or where I first ate biscotti but I remember really enjoying it. Its something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at but the double bake put me off a little… but alas! I have now made it and couldn’t believe how simple and fool proof it really was. Now there seems to be a lot of different trains of though about what makes a traditional Italian biscotti (or cantuccini) and what doesn’t. So after doing some research I have merged what seemed the best of the best and tried this method, with my own little tweaks like using demerara sugar for a more caramelised flavour and both flaked and whole almonds for texture. Let me know what you think- I think it was very similar to the Starbucks one!
My tip: Take it easy when slicing. The part baked dough is delicate.
Ingredients (Makes approximately 25 pieces)
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking power
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 medium eggs (lightly beaten)
100g of demerara sugar
120g of caster sugar
160g of almonds (mix of flaked and skin on almonds)
- Heat the oven on gas mark 3 (140-60 degrees celsius)
- Line a tray with grease proof or parchment paper and dust with flour lightly
- Flour, sugar and baking powder – mix in a bowl or in a mixer using the dough hook
- Vanilla extract and eggs – mix together and add to the dry ingredients
- Mix until it nearly resembles a dough, it shouldn’t take too long and it shouldn’t be too dry or too sticky either (add extra flour or a splash of milk as required)
- Almonds – Turn out onto a floured board flatten out a bit, sprinkle over the almonds and knead lightly (I like the almonds to be unevenly spread)
- Shape – Split the dough in to two equal parts, gently roll each portion into sausages about 30 cm long (or 3-4 cm in diameter) place them on the tray – not too close together as the dough will spread a bit creating that authentic biscotti shape.
- First Bake – bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes
- Cool- leave to cool on the tray for 15 minutes. This will harden the dough making it easier to work with.
- Slice -Take this bit easy! Transfer to a board and using a serrated knife, slice the biscotti logs (I did mine on a slight diagonal) about 2 cm thick. Any thinner your biscuits won’t hold together and any thicker they wont dry out enough on your second bake. Place the slices back on the tray flat side down.
- Second bake- bake for 25-30 minutes turning halfway through. They should have a golden brown colour, darker round the edges.
- Cool. They will be pretty hard-but that’s good!
- Enjoy. With coffee or tea and store in an airtight container.