The prefix “bis” means “again, or one more time, or even twice removed” and comes to us from Latin. “cotti” is the past particle “cooked” in Italian, so it stands to reason that biscotti are twice cooked. This characteristic is what gives them their keeping power. Left in a nice, safe place (away from predatory housewives looking to complement their tea break!) they will keep for weeks. This recipe can be used as the basic biscotti plan – perfect for a leisurely breakfast or the aforementioned tea-break! Notice that these biscotti have no butter in them.
Making biscotti is a bit like making egg pasta – you incorporate the egg to the flour mixture and knead. It is a bit labor intensive because of baking, cooling, and then baking again…but, to my way of thinking, very worth the effort as the biscotti keep for a long time. They make great take-along snack as well.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup nuts
- 1 ½ cups dried fruit
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a baking pan with parchment paper
Mix the four eggs thoroughly. Remove 2 tablespoons and then add 1 teaspoon water to this for the egg wash.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and combine well.
Add dried fruit and nuts and mix.
Add eggs and vanilla mixture and beat just until a dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead several times.
Halve dough, then form each half into a slightly flatted 9”x 4” mound and place on a baking sheet (at an angle they fit nicely)
Brush biscotti with egg wash. Bake in the middle of oven until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool biscotti on baking sheet for about 20 minutes. Then, cut diagonally into ½ inch thick slices with a serrated knife.
Arrange slices, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the biscotti over and bake for another 15 minutes (30 minutes all total)
Note: experiment with different dried fruit/nut combinations – add 1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa natural unsweetened chocolate to the dry ingredients for chocolate biscotti using almonds as the nut and cherries as the dried fruit. Yum!