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Biscotti di Greve in Chianti

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Biscotti di Greve in Chianti


Biscotti di Greve in Chianti


 


Carol Field is probably best known as the author of The Italian Baker. While it was first published in 1985, twelve years after Beard on Bread, it was certainly at the leading edge of the artisan bread movement in America. It is still frequently cited as the best book on Italian baking ever published in this country. I have never seen The Italian Baker, and my searches for it found it to be out of print with used copies selling for high prices. I'm delighted to have discovered, just yesterday, that it has been revised and is currently scheduled to be released in November, 2011. (The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies)


Carol Field has written several other cook books, an Italian travel book and a novel. I checked out her book, Italy in Small Bites, from the library this week. It is a book of Italian between meal snack foods, although many are considerably more substantial in both calories and nutritional value than what we think of as “snacks” in the US. Field's writing about the place of these foods in Italian culture is quite fascinating for anyone interested in food and culture. (DaisyA! If you haven't read this book, you must!) But, no more about that now.


I had the afternoon off and looked for something from Italy in Small Bites I could bake before dinnertime. I chose “Biscotti di Greve in Chianti.” I've never met a biscotto I didn't like, but my wife has a dislike of anise flavored cookies, so the type of biscotti with which I was most familiar was out. These biscotti, which Field had from a bakery in Greve are flavored with almonds, vanilla and orange zest, all of which we like. The recipe was also attractive in that it is mixed in a food processor and seemed quick and easy.


Biscotti di Greve in Chianti


Ingredients


2 cups (280 g) unbleached AP flour


1 cup sugar


1 tsp baking soda


Pinch salt


2 eggs, room temperature


1 egg yolk, room temperature


1 tsp vanilla extract


2 tsp grated orange zest


1 ½ cups dry roasted almonds


1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water for glaze


Procedure




  1. Measure the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade and pulse to mix thoroughly.




  2. Mix the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and orange zest in a two cup measuring cup.




  3. With the processor running, pour the liquids over the dry ingredients through the feed tube. Mix to a shaggy mass, not until a ball forms.




  4. Pour half the almonds into the ball and pulse a few times. Repeat with the rest of the almonds.




  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board and press it into a coherent mass. (This is the hardest step. I used my hands and a bench knife to fold the dough, which started out as discrete granules of dough mixed with nut fragments, into something that stuck together after folding and pressing repeatedly.)




  6. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.




  7. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts and form each into a log, 2 inches across. Brush each log with the glaze. Place the logs, at least 3 inches apart, on a buttered and floured sheet pan or on sheet pan lined with parchment.




  8. Bake 25-30 minutes until light golden brown.




  9. Remove from the oven to cool, but leave the oven on.




  10. Once the logs are cool enough to handle, slice each at an angle into ¾ inch thick cookies, using a serrated knife, and lay them on a lightly buttered cookie sheet.




  11. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes on each side until golden.




  12. Cool (and dry) before eating (If you can. I found that snacking on the log ends during the second baking assisted with this step.)








These biscotti are very tasty. They are less sweet than most, with a nice almond flavor. The orange flavor is very subtle. I haven't tasted them yet dipped in cappuccino or in wine, but I think that's how to enjoy them best.



David


 


 

Comments

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Those cookies look excellent, David.  I wish I had some for my morning coffee.


Nice cup and saucer, too.  Molto Italiano!


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I had some for dessert dipped in an Antinori super tuscan. Very nice!


Susan approved, too. Her only negative was "Where's the chocolate?"


I may bring these or some other biscotti in April. Biscotti are the traditional dessert after dim sum, aren't they? 


David

Franko's picture
Franko

Nice Biscotti David. they sound delicious!


The Italian Baker is still one of my prized baking books even after 20 years. and so many bakes from it I can't tell you. I'm with your wife on anise flavoured cookies/biscotti, your flavour combination is much more interesting.


Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

These are so good! The problem is, Field's book has about 10 or so recipes for biscotti, all of which look equally interesting. 


Thanks for the endorsement of The Italian Baker. I'm going to pre-order the new edition. Maybe Floyd can list it so TFL gets some credit, if we order it from Amazon through the TFL web site.


David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Looks Appetizing! David! I shall try this one day, thanks!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I know how delicious they are, they are one of my passions. They get along very well wine (soaked), too, if you like it (I don't, just milk for me).

RonRay's picture
RonRay

David, if you just cannot wait, I just saw it for $13.00, which does not seem that high ;-)


http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Carol+Field&sts=t&tn=The+Italian+Baker&x=59&y=13


Ron

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The $13 copy appears to have been bought. I believe I will wait for the new edition.


David

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Sorry, you missed it, David. the $18, $21 and up would make me, also chose to wait.


It is a good sight when one is looking for used books, but often, the better buys do move fast.


Ron

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

just love biscotti, thanks so much for sharing your recipe, can't wait to make it!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David, thanks for the biscotti recipe...! Your biscotti look wonderful.
(Dipping one of those biscotti into a glass of Vin Santo - mmm, one of my favorite desserts!)
from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've never had Vin Santo, but I should see if I can get some locally. Gotta be fully oriented for my trip to Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany this Summer!


David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

...and who said 'doing your homework' couldn't be fun? :^)
from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

saltandserenity's picture
saltandserenity

Your biscotti are beautiful. Love the shot with the beautiful Italian cup and saucer. I love almond ones but coconut and dried cranberry with white chocolate chunks are my favourite!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

HMerlitti's picture
HMerlitti

I made biscotti yesterday and the recipe called for baking power.   This recipe calls for  baking soda in about the same proportion.


Very curious ??


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Interesting point, Enrico.


Usually, if baking soda is used, there is some acidifying ingredient like buttermilk or yoghurt in the recipe. I can't see any of the other ingredients in this biscotti recipe as an acid source, unless it's the orange zest. So I'm curious, too. Yet, the loaves do increase in size to about double during baking, so, presumably, CO2 is being produced somehow.


All of Field's biscotti recipes call for baking soda. All the other biscotti recipes I can find in other books in my collection call for baking powder. I wonder if this is an error on Field's part. On the other hand, the biscotti are delicious.


David

jerryantic's picture
jerryantic

 


They look great. I'm going to make a batch. They are best dipped in Vino Santo an Italian dessert wine. Mmmmm.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Let us know how they turn out!


David

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, David:

Wish I could have one of those right now!

Yippee

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I wish you could have one too.


i baked another batch last weekend. They are to go to San Francisco for desert at Glenn's after dim sum at Ton Kiang. Not the traditional Chinese almond cookies, but the best I could do.


David

evander's picture
evander

I tried these a couple of weeks ago and they turned out great. I used roasted hazelnuts instead of almonds but still nice. My 2 year old daughter started screaming "Cotti! Cotti!!!" when they were all eaten so I'll have to make some more  :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Very cute! 

Just make sure your daughter doesn't scream with her mouth full. Nut aspirations are nasty.

I'm glad you enjoyed the biscotti. It's time I made another batch myself

David