Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tutti frutti Biscotti (Twice Baked Italian Bread)

Biscotti is more correctly known as biscotti di Prato (English: Prato Biscuits), also known as cantuccini (English: Coffee Bread) are twice-baked biscuits originating in the Italian city of Prato. The biscuits are oblong-shaped almond biscuits, made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven. The word originates from the Medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning "twice-cooked/baked." It defined oven baked goods that were baked twice, so they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time. Someone boasted that such goods would be edible for centuries. Such non-perishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars in olden days.

Since they are very dry, biscotti traditionally are served with a drink, into which they may be dunked. In Italy they are typically served as an after-dinner dessert with a Tuscan fortified wine called vin santo. Outside of Italy, they more frequently accompany coffee, including cappuccinos and lattes, or black tea. 
(Source: Wikipedia)

Today's recipe is a variation from the original basic recipe. I am using Tutti Frutti flavour to give this Biscotti and sweet punch. Other variations can be choco, hazelnut, almond pistachio and many more. Following double baking the biscotti can be dipped in glaze or chocolate to make it more flavoursome.
Basic Recipe minimally adapted from "Joy of Baking"

Makes:                     35 biscotti

Preparation time:       45 minutes.

Egg:                            3 large
Vanilla extract:            1 teaspoon
Granulated Sugar:        3/4 cups
All purpose flour:         2 cups
Baking powder:           1 teaspoon
Salt:                             1/4 teaspoon
Tutti Frutti:                   1/2 cup(chopped)

1) Preheat oven to 160 degrees C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2) In a bowl whisk the eggs with the vanilla extracts and sugar until pale in color.
3) In a large bowl whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the egg mixture and tutti frutti and stir until a dough forms. 
4) Divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface roll each half into a 6 inch long & 4 inches wide log. 
5) Place the logs to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
6) Transfer logs to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut it into slices about 1/2 inches thick.
7) Place the slices of biscotti back on the baking sheet and bake about another 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 10 minutes or until firm and crisp. 
8) Remove from oven and let it cool. Store in an airtight container enjoy it for several weeks.


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