I received an email from one of my students, asking for my biscotti recipe.
Outside the wind was blowing hard, bringing in rain clouds and it seemed like a perfect day for baking.
I wanted to attempt to do something a little different and instead of almonds , used toasted hazelnuts and bittersweet chocolate chopped into chunks. ( note to myself, double up on the hazelnuts and cut down on the chocolate).
Recently we toured the Mattei factory in Prato, where the " Biscotti di Prato" come from, the historic producer of Tuscan biscotti.
Each shop has their own recipe, so I can too!
When I first learned, I got my recipe from my friend Sandra's dad, a retired pastry chef. His recipe was essential and simple. Equal weight of flour and sugar, almonds and enough eggs to hold the dough together.
For us mortals who need recipes:
500 grams flour
500 grams sugar
1 tsp baking powder
250 grams almonds (I used half hazelnuts and half chocolate today)
Note: depending on the kind of flour you use, you may need more yolks
In Italy we use a low gluten flour, which is similar to White lily flour that is used for bisquits in the south.
If the mixture is dry, add more yolks.
not all recipes are alike, some classic recipes are 4 whole eggs plus 4 yolks.
there are crispier cookies and more cake-like cookies.
Experiment and find your own balance.
I like to bake off a small batch first to be sure they don't spread.
The dough is rolled out into long rolls, baked until firm and then sliced while still hot.
I don't bake mine twice, although Bis- cotti means cooked twice.
Some people put them back in the oven to crisp them more.
Biscotti di Prato are also called "cantucci" little corners and are served at the end of a meal with a sweet dessert wine, Vin Santo, to dip the hard cookies in.
Not cappuccino, which is served at breakfast!