I’ve had biscotti on my ‘to-make’ list for a while. These crunchy Italian biscuits go perfectly with a hot cup of tea and are sometimes given as gifts at Christmas. So what better time to make them than the middle of summer!
Actually, after another brief flirtation with 30C+ degree days last week, our August has now turned into a blustery autumn preview. I think the heady days of swimming outdoors are gone as we have a steady forecast of 20 -25C days. I am not complaining at all, autumn is my favourite month and I’ll quite happily have it start early if it means I get more biscotti in my life.
I followed a Bread Ahead recipe for this, half from their cookbook, but also from a quick peek at their Instagram TV tutorial just to make sure I was along the right track.
The recipe called for fennel seeds to give the biscotti some aniseed-like flavour, but I’ve not learned to like fennel yet so decided to put cinnamon instead. The smell of the cinnamon combined with the smell of the orange zest made the whole house smelled like Christmas was coming – it was very comforting.
Biscotti are twice-baked to give them that extra crunchy texture. You first bake the dough as a log, having slightly squished it down so it spreads a bit, then you let it cool slightly before cutting it into 1cm slices and baking on each side of the biscuit for around an hour at a cooler temperature. My first bake was a bit uneven so I was left with some parts that were very crunchy already, and some that were so soft. To be honest, I didn’t really mind as it just meant I could nibble on the bits that didn’t make it! I salvaged what I could after cutting a few wonky bits and still ended up with a full tray of biscuits.
These taste so good, the flavour is so warm and comforting, and they’re the perfect size for dunking in a hot cup of tea. I had to leave some in the oven a little longer as they were a bit softer in the middle (aren’t we all?) but they came out good in the end. This recipe made a lot, but seeing as they’ll last for 3 weeks in my jar I can’t complain. I will absolutely make these simple yet delicious biscotti again, and next time I’ll have a play around with some different flavours. Chocolate and almond sounds like a good place to start…