I find it difficult to think of any sweet that may be a more ideal coffee companion than Italian biscotti. However, I have often deplored the poor quality of many a biscotto that is out there. Although biscotti keep well and, in a way, are meant to keep for some time, they are best when they are fresh, so I recently found myself faced with the only sensible option (not exactly to my dismay): Make some myself.
- 150 grams of blanched whole almonds
- 240 grams of white flour
- 100 grams of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 medium eggs
- 50 grams of butter (cut into small cubes)
- For coating: 1 egg yolk, 1 teapoon of sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Spread the almonds on an oven tray. Roast in the hot oven for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool down.
- Mix the flour, the sugar, the baking powder and the salt in a bowl.
- Add the eggs and the butter. Knead the ingredients until you have a smooth dough (the dough should not be too soft, but should be moist enough not to disintegrate into a crumble too easily).
- Fold in the orange zest, and, finally, the almonds.
- Halve the dough and form two rolls which are approx. 3 cm wide and 1,5 cm high.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the rolls of dough on the tray with some distance left between them.
- Mix the egg yolk and the sugar and 1 teaspoon of water well and thinly coat the top of the rolls with the mixture.
- Bake in the oven (200 degrees Celsius) for approximately 15-20 minutes until the dough turns lightly brown.
- Take out of the oven and reduce the heat to 100 degrees Celsius. Wait until the temperature is down before putting the biscotti back into the oven!
- Meanwhile, let the rolls cool down a bit. Then cut diagonally into slices approx. 0.5 cm to 1 cm thick (depending on how you prefer it). Place the slices on the baking tray with the cut sides facing up.
- Let dry in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for approximately 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, open the door of the oven a few centimeters and continue drying for approximately 2 hours.
Keep in an air-tight container. Biscotti keep well for several weeks, but they really are best when fresh!