The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Biscotti

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meadmaker's picture
meadmaker

Almond Biscotti 2/3/2010


I followed one of the recipes on here ( http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13979/king-biscotti-almond-biscotti-%E2%80%9Ccantucci%E2%80%9D ), and it turned out yummy! It was one of the recipes that I had all the ingredients for here at home. As for the almonds, I had a bag if Smokehouse Almonds that I rinsed the seasoning off of, before putting in the oven to roast. (Thanks to Turosdolci for the recipe!)


The one difference in outcome was that mine was a bit darker on the inside due to having added a bit more cinnamon since my cinnamon container is several *cough-cough* years old.


As for what to do with all this, I'll probably pack them up for my husband to take to work tomorrow. They are delicious!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

In the past three days we've been baking: a first try at Vollkornbrot, three loaves of sourdough, and 38 dozens of cookies including Welsh Cakes, Date-Nut Pinwheels, Tart Cherry and Pecan Biscotti, and Tangerine Spritz. Except for the spritz, I creamed all the butter and sugar by hand, before adding the rest of the liquid ingredients. Result: wielding the wooden spoon I got a blister on my little finger! Geez! do I have to wear work gloves to mix dough too?



These are left for us, and the neighhood cookie exchange. Seven packages left home yesterday posted to family.


The vollkornbrot



This is Hamelman's formula in Bread. I don't have a local nor online source for rye chops, so I ran rye berries through my homebrewing grain mill that cracks the seed coating on whole barley grains. I think the result was essentially the same as commercial rye chops. I'm happy with the flavor, and density but not elated. I tested it after resting it for forty-eight hours. I'm going to let it rest for three or four more days before I freeze it to see if the flavor develops further. The tea towel was a gift from an English friend of mine, and was the only tea towel I own big enough to wrap a Pullman loaf.


I didn't photograph the sourdough loaves, because one was immediately eaten, one immediately given away, and the third one immediately frozen. They looked like all my other posted sourdough boules'. However internally they're a bit different. I've named these Halcyon Acres Sourdough, after our modest five acres of horse pastures we call home. I concocted the formula, and my wife likes it more than any other sourdoughs I've baked to date.


I recently started feeding my sourdough starters with first clear flour, instead of bread flour. Additionally, when I want to increase dough sourness, I feed a small portion of starter for three days at room temperature, 72°F to 76°F, every eight to twelve hours. (I discard much of it each feeding--1:1:1 ratio--so thing don't get out of hand.) I'm indebted to Debra Wink for debunking the folklore that lactobacteria reproduce better in stiff cultures, at low temperature. The myth flew in the face of my understanding of physics and thermodynamics, but I'm not a microbiologist, so I wasn't entirely certain the myth was nonsense. I've started feeding with first clear flour because of its relatively high ash producing content, which provides necessary minerals and trace nutrients to the bacteria.


Here's the fromula for three 1.5 lb loaves of Halcyon Acres Sourdough


Ripe Sourdough Starter     450g


Starter Hydration              125%


Whole Rye Flour                225g


All Purpose Flour               450g


Bread Flour                       450g


Water                               650g


Salt                                  27g (2%)


Final Dough Weight           2252g


Hydration                         68%


I built my formula-ready starter using a culture previously rejuvanated with first clear flour, at room temperature, for 72 hours. The culture had subsequently been refrigerated for two weeks. I use a 24 hour, three build, method to create the needed formula-ready ripe starter. My three build method is described elsewhere in this blog, in detail. I used first clear flour for each build for this starter.


Procedures: Hand mixed flour, water, and starter to shaggy consistency; 30 minute autolyse; added salt; hand mixed to smooth, homogeneous consistency. Bulk proofed for 3 hours with 3 stretch-and-fold at 45 minute intervals; turned out; divided into three equal portions; preshaped boules; rested 10 minutes;final shaped. Final proof 1-1/2 hours in bannetons; scored loaves. Pre-steamed oven (I use water-soaked towel on a baking sheet) five minutes before loading. Baking: Initial oven temperature 480°F; reduced oven temperature to 450°F at loading. Removed steam source after 15 minutes; finished baking (approximately 10 minutes.)


Happy Holiday baking; watch out for blisters ;-)


David G

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


A Christmas double chocolate biscotti takes center stage on our Christmas biscotti tray. It is an old family recipe that is made only for holidays and special events. I could not imagine Christmas with out pizzette, it would be a very sad family gathering. The only problem is stopping everyone from eating them before our family dinner of speghetti with anchovy sauce and mixed fried fish.


Pizzetts are a double chocolate biscotti, scented with spices, roasted almonds, orange zest, coffee and chocolate chips. They are one of the biscotti attractions on our cookie trays for Christmas and every special event. You can make these cookies in advance and freeze them for up to 2 months unfrosted.



 



 


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com

 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


The preparation of the “Torta di Biscotto di Nozze” is by far one of the most important jobs of all in Italian weddings. Members of the family prepare biscotti for weeks for that important day. Layers of different biscotti are arranged in a pyramid and decorated with icing covered with "Confetti" and ribbons - it sits in a place of honor on the main table.



http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/a-wedding-biscotti-caketorta-di-biscotto-di-nozze/





davidg618's picture
davidg618

As most, if not all, of you know Italians traditionally dip biscotti into their coffee or wine, i suspect, in part, to soften it a bit before chewing. October, November and December of year, along with holiday baking, we're putting the finishing touches to plans for our annual January open house wherein we serve only our homemade wines, homebrewed beer, and a cornucopia of food, all made from scratch.


This year's theme is Wine and Bread.


Technically, biscotti is not a bread, but it fits so well, we've added it to our list that includes sourdoughs (wheat and ryes), pain de mie, ciabatta, lavash, fougasse, and of course baguettes. I'm also going to try Hamelman's Vollkornbrot; if successful it too will join the list. It should pair well with a pilsner finishing its fermenting as I write.


Today I experimented with a parmesan-black pepper biscotti thinking it will pair well with white wine, especially the sauvignon blanc we're offering this year. My wife and I shared the small corner pieces, and froze the rest. We opened a bottle of sauvignon blanc. It pairs wonderfully.



We're also planning a dried-cherries and pecans biscotti to pair with a Cabernet Franc ice wine (sweet)--a first; always dry wines prior--and a craisins and pastachio biscotti that should pair well with both reds and whites.


David G

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


In Italy desserts are often flavored with honey, chestnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Cantucci originated in the Tuscany and it is thought that they were flavored with almonds from Prato. They can be found in every pasticceria in the Tuscany. Cantucci are mostly eaten with a glass of “Vin Santo” a sweet wine. Many restaurants serve small almond biscotti with coffee and some will have a bowl of them on the table at all times. It is probably the most well-known and popular biscotti in Italy.


Following is our family recipe for cantucci. Make a full recipe and stored in a metal container, they will last a few weeks. They can be frozen up to two months – they defrost very quickly. You will always have biscotti to serve with coffee when friends drop by. 



If this link doesn't connect, go to http://turosdolci.wordpress.com



http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/almond-biscotti-“cantucci”-recipe/




 


 

 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


Taralli are a biscuit that is eaten by Italians any time of the day. It should be named the national biscotti because taralli are enjoyed by young and old. Wheather it is for breakfast, as a snack, dunked in wine, as a treat for children, they are a biscuit that fills every occasion.  They can be found  in every bakery, market and in every Italian home.  There are many preparations of taralli, but the one here is from the village where my grandparants come from, "Vieste (FG) Italy".


Puglian Taralli
Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 50 minutes 
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes @ 375 degrees F 
Yield: 5 Dozen


Dry Ingredients


3 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached


2 cups semolina flour


2 teaspoons dry yeast


1 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed, or 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


WET INGREDIENTS


1 cup dry white wine, warmed


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, warmed


DOUGH


Sprinkle the yeast over the warm wine and let it stand for several minutes, then stir it into the wine and mix well.  In a large bowl put all the remaining ingredients and your chosen seasoning. Mix and knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Return to a clean bowl and cover the dough with plastic wrap or a dampened towel and let it rise for 30 minutes or longer in a warm place.


ASSEMBLY


Divide the dough into pieces. Roll them into 1/2” cylinders. Cut them into 6” lengths. Bring the two ends together and join them to make a round doughnut - like shape. Press your thumb on the ends to seal them.


BOILING


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop the taralli in a few at a time. When the taralli rise to the surface, remove them and put them on a clean towel to dry.


BAKE


Arrange the boiled taralli on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown.


Note:  When crushing the black pepper, do not use a grinder.  The finely ground powder from the pepper will make the taralli taste hot.  Use only hand crushed pieces.


 An old Italian say: "No matter what the argument, it can be resolved with a glass of wine and a handfull of taralli"


smartdog's picture
smartdog

Enjoying a nice piece of challah with a slice of swiss cheese and fresh tomato slices from our garden toms. Was a bit ambitious yesterday and made chocolate almond biscotti and a challah. :)Almond and Chocolate Biscotti Just another Challah

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