Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vanilla Biscotti

We learn something new every day. Isn't that so true? I have been baking for almost a decade now. I have made several biscottis in these few years. In fact I make many kinds of biscottis every holiday season. I learned something really useful today when I read the recipe mentioned below. I used to cover the partially baked dough with kitchen towel so that they cool down slowly which in turn will make slicing easier and crumble free. But, the technique I learned today is just awesome. I also learned that by baking biscottis on their back instead of on their sides (flipping halfway), they retain good color and have uniformly baked end product. I guess when people introduce me as a 'baker', I should politely tell them that I am still learning to be one.
I followed the recipe to a certain extent but replaced butter with buttery spread. Reason is, I have baked biscotti which doesn't call for any fat or some recipes use oil. So, fat is not a significant ingredient in a biscotti. I also didn't add any nuts like suggested since my kids won't eat the nuts in the baked good. You can add up to 2 cups of chopped nuts or dried fruits or chocolate chips to this recipe.
One year back - Cumin Onion Breadsticks
Adapted from - King Arthur Flour
Ingredients:
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Sugar - 2/3 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Butter spread or butter - 1/3 cup (I used Oil based buttery spread)
Eggs - 2 large
Vanilla - 2 tsp

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl, beat sugar and buttery spread or butter. It won't be creamy since fat is way less than the sugar. It will be like wet sand. Add eggs and continue beating. Mixture will look curdled and that is alright. Add vanilla and mix. Now, dump the dry ingredients and continue to beat. Towards the end, switch to spatula and mix so that there is no dry mixture. Dough will be sticky.
Divide the dough into half and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. With wet hands, shape into a log of 9 " by 2" with a height of 3/4". You will have two logs like that which are spaced apart on the baking sheet. If you are using smaller baking sheet, use two of them so that they don't touch when baked. Smooth the top of the log with wet spatula or scraper.
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove the baking tray from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F. Cool on the wire rack for about 15 - 20 minutes. I actually baked something else in that time and did the second baking only after 30 minutes. Transfer each log on to the cutting board. Mist the top with water. If you don't have a mister like me, brush with water. Take a big knife (not serrated) and cut them into straight ones to get more biscotti or diagonally with 3/4" width to get fewer but longer biscottis. When you cut it, don't use the saw motion. Instead, put weight on the knife and go straight down. Transfer the sliced dough on to the baking sheet and make them stand on their backs, not on the side like many recipes say. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or till they feel very dry. They will still be a bit soft but will harden when they cool down. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Should last for weeks if not eaten by then. My entire family loved this biscotti and half of it is already gone. I got 26 biscotti out of this recipe.

Enjoy.

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15 comments:

  1. wow wonderful biscotti,perfect with a cup of coffee...

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  2. Biscotti look perfectly baked, crisp and delicious.

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  3. Biscottis look amazingly delicious and tempting.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  4. i love biscottis. my favorite is with almond extract! :)

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  5. I second u Champa! We learn new things everyday, guess this will always be an ongoing process...

    This technique sounds interesting, will try it when I bake biscotti next. I have begun to love them! These look great!

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  6. wow very flavorful and perfectly baked biscotti....love your clicks....

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  7. I am searching for this recipe..thanks for sharing..Biscottis looks perfect!!!

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  8. Great recipe. I think I'd add some chopped almonds and almond extract. Sounds delicious and biscotti always make a nice holiday gift.

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  9. I have not understood what you mean by back (baking biscottis on their back instead of on their sides (flipping halfway), they retain good color and have uniformly baked end product). You mean not to lay them on the sides but what is the back? I am sorry I am sounding a bit like a KG class kid but its really confusing.

    Do check out my event and send me your entries.

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  10. Archana,
    Usually biscottis are baked on the cut side down the second time. Then they are flipped on the other side and baked. When I said back, that means when you slice the biscotti dough, the crust stays on the top and it is standing up like a standing slice of bread. Makes sense?

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  11. Hey Champa
    Can I use Whole wheat flour instead of APF? I am looking for a healthier version for my 4 yr old

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    Replies
    1. Tulasi,
      yes. If you can get whole wheat pastry flour, you will not compromise on the texture. If you use regular whole wheat flour, it might come a little dense, but biscotti is not that airy so shouldn't matter in this recipe.

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