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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie-Lenox Almond Biscotti-Revised

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I began making biscotti last year when I saw detailed instructions in "The Baker's Companion" published by the King Arthur Flour Company. There were three basic biscotti recipes, Traditional Italian Biscotti, Classic Italian Biscotti and American-Style Biscotti. The two Italian biscotti recipes were very similar, having very little fat, however, the American-Style biscotti had unsalted butter in the ingredients. The addition of the unsalted butter made a lighter texture biscotti with a delicate crunch whereas the two very similar Italian versions had the traditional hard texture, perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

Several things stood out in the step by step instructions: The egg and sugar mixture must be beaten until lemony colored and thick enough to drop in a ribbon from the beaters. When shaping the log, a wet dough scraper along with wet fingers helps mold the log into a neat shape. After the first bake, the log is allowed to cool for about 15 minutes and then spritzed lightly with water from a spray bottle to soften the log for ease of slicing, especially if your biscotti has dried fruits and nuts included. Lastly, standing the sliced biscotti upright for the second bake allows the air to circulate around the slices so they will brown evenly.

Because I wanted my biscotti to be more Italian traditional hard crunch, I decided to make the biscotti without the addition of the unsalted butter. I use cornmeal in a lot of my yeast breads and love the flavor and texture it lends to the finished product, so kept the flour/cornmeal proportions the same as Dorie's recipe. Not using the butter enabled me to decrease the baking powder from 1 1/2 teaspoons to 1/2 teaspoon. My other playing around was to add the zest from an orange to the sugar before beating it with the eggs. To the finished dough, instead of the almonds, I added 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup mixed dried berries.

One day when I bake biscotti again, I will use the butter and maybe I will like it, too. The great thing about baking biscotti is that you can come up with so many different combinations of flavors and textures. Another plus is that for the cost of one expensive coffee shop biscotti, you can make a whole batch.


Head over to TWD to check out the Lenox Almond Biscotti and see what other bakers have done with this very flexible biscotti recipe. Thanks to Gretchen of Canela & Comino for choosing such a great recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group.

27 comments:

Lori said...

the butter really is just wonderful. i love traditional biscotti too, but these? these are fantastic, even with all the trouble we had. thanks for posting the specifics of those other recipes....spritzing with water, cool!

Isabelle said...

c'est superbe et sûrement meilleur pour la ligne :)

chocolatechic said...

I didn't realize that there was only one kind of biscotti.

I loved this.

I like my biscotti softer.

Christine said...

Wow your biscotti looks delicious! I like how you opted to go for the more traditional crunchy look!

Emily Rose said...

Your biscotti look beautiful! I never would have guessed that it would work just as well without the butter! Honestly, though, I think the butter is what made me love Dorie's recipe!

The DeL Sisters said...

That combo of walnuts and dried fruit sounds and looks good!

Engineer Baker said...

I agree that the butter definitely made for a more tender biscotti - not quite as dunkable. Your Italian-style biscotti look delicious.

rainbowbrown said...

Those are great looking biscotti. I need to get that book if it has such a detailed biscotti section it must be good all around.

Rachel said...

I have never tried biscotti with a glass of wine....but now I know what I'm having tonight!

kim said...

gorgeous photos & biscotti, and thanks for all of the tips!

Teanna said...

Those are great pointers to making biscotti! And yours look absolutely perfect, so I know they must work! I'm going to print this out to remember for next time! Thanks!

Leslie said...

Your biscotti looks great, and your photos are beautiful!

Barbara said...

Thanks for your biscotti recipe comparisons and tips!

The Food Librarian said...

Such pretty biscotti! And lovely photos, as always!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

these look fantastic! so interesting about the butter--the original recipe really uses a lot. i'm going to note in my book to try it without butter and adjusting the BP--thanks!

Melissa said...

This looks SO GOOD with the dried cranberries! Well done!

Madam Chow said...

GREAT tips! I have that book, and I think it's wonderful!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Wow, I love all the information about making biscotti and your photos are fabulous!

pinkstripes said...

Your biscotti look perfect and yummy. I loved this recipe. YUM!

Erin said...

These look beautiful! That's so interesting about the butter.

~Kimberly said...

I loved these! Your pictures are awesome!

chez us said...

Your post came out fantastic .... the butter was fantastic!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wonderful changes which made for gorgeous biscotti. Great job!

Natalie said...

Love your blog! Just wanted to let you know I linked you. :)

http://ovenlove.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-favorites-food-blogs-and-websites.html

Lo said...

Biscotti always has the propensity to make me VERY happy. And I'm pretty sure these would do the trick. Lovely.

AmyRuth said...

thanks for the comparison of biscotti. I've never been brave enough to consume "coffee shop" biscotti. It really looks scary to me. I now know why. Other than the fact that they truly probably aren't that recently baked. They have no butter fat, probably.

I like your blog and the black background really showcases your beautiful photography.
AmyRuth

James said...

Really these biscotti are wonderful.
I like these biscotti. Thanks for recipe.

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