This instructable shows how to make a traditional italian hard biscotti suitable for dunking in hot beverages. A double batch is made in this instructable.
Here's the recipe in text form [my modifications appear in square brackets] adapted from a Boston Globe Magazine Article:
Corby Kummer's Unbeatable Biscotti
Corby Kummer wrote about biscotti a few years ago in The Atlantic and related how he tried about 25 formulas before he came up with this remarkable cookie. It contains no butter or oil, just fat and flavor from unblanched almonds and eggs. This style of biscotti, explains Kummer, comes from Prato, a wool-manufacturing town near Florence. "Biscotti have been made there since the 14th century," he says.
1 1/4 cups whole, unblanched almonds
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda [substitute baking powder]
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
[1/2 teaspoon almond extract]
Extra flour (for the board)
Set the oven at 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for 8 to 10 minutes or until they begin to perfume the kitchen. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then butter and flour it. Alternatively, line the sheet with parchment paper.
Place the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in an electric mixer and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly with the vanilla. With the mixer set on low speed, blend the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture. The dough will cohere after a minute or two but will be messy and sticky.
Beat in the nuts and mix just until they begin to break up. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Using a pastry scraper and more flour as it is needed, turn the dough over onto itself three or four times to distribute the nuts.
Let the dough rest for a minute. Divide it into two equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, elongate each piece into a strip 2 to 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. Carefully transfer the strips to the baking sheet, leaving 4 inches between them.
Bake the strips for 45 to 50 minutes or until they are golden. Remove them from the oven and leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle.
Carefully transfer the strips to a cutting board. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the strips on a diagonal into 1/2-inch slices.
Place the slices on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Return the sheet to the oven and bake the biscotti for 35 minutes. [or bake at 200 degrees for longer, up to an hour]
Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store the cookies in a container that admits air, which will keep them from softening.
Makes about 2 dozen.
To make gluten free, substitute 2 cups gluten free flour and 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum in place of the 2 cups of flour.
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Step 1: Toast Almonds
Spread a pound of raw almonds on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in a 350 farenheit oven for 9 minutes.
Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients
Measure 4 cups (1000ml) of unbleached white flour, 2 cups (500ml) of sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Throughly mix dry ingredients.
Step 3: Mix Liquid Ingredients
Mix 6 eggs, one teaspoon vanilla extract and one tespoon almond extract in a bowl. Throughly mix liquid with a fork. In dry ingredients bowl, create depression and pour liquid ingredients in. Mix the flour into the liquid, rotating the bowl as you go until the dough starts to cohere and there is a minimum of dry ingredient left.
Step 4: Knead Dough
With floured hands and bowl, knead dough.