Few things to keep in mind before starting:
- Biscotti, also known as Cantucci, is an Italian biscuit which is baked twice, oblong shaped, crunchy and tastes yummy with a hot cup of beverage.
- Though I tried it for the first time, It turned out to be a rage in my kids. So a must try recipe for all the mothers out there!!
- It is a bit difficult to handle while baking it twice. The biscotti loaf crumbles sometimes while cutting it. Just keep a few things in mind and you will be able to bake it to near perfection. Always use a serrated bread knife to cut the loaf and cutting should be similar to the slicing of onions and not in sawing motion but with a light pressure to avoid crumbling of the biscotti. You may either cut the loaf straight at right angle to the length of loaf or at an acute angle to make bigger sized biscotti. Being a first time baker of biscotti, I preferred cutting the loaf straight.
- Take the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe using standard measuring cups and spoons levelled to the brim while measuring them. A minutest of a change in the amount will create a disaster in baking.
- All the ingredients should be at room temperature before you start.
- Always preheat the oven along with greased baking dish for uniform baking.
- Bake the biscotti at a low temp of 170 degree C for first bake and then at 160 degree C for the second bake to get the best results.
- Avoid using whole nuts, as they may further add to crumbling of biscotti while cutting the biscotti loaf. Also avoid using too much of nuts to the recipe for the same reason.
- Always use neutral flavoured cooking oil in baking, if your recipe calls for oil.
- Beat the sugar oil mix for around 5 minutes using electric beater at medium speed and for 10 minutes if using hand whisk. Do not over beat the mix as you may end up loosing all the entrapped air in your mix.
- While adding dry ingredients to the wet mix, do not beat but use cut and fold method of mixing using a spatula and finally with a light hand. Do not over mix the same. Mix just till all the dry and wet ingredients are completely mixed.
- The biscotti loaves need to be cooled down for only 10 minutes and not more than that. Cutting cold loaves may not produce smooth surfaced biscotti. You may even sprinkle some room temperature water over your loaves, wait for another 5 minutes and then cut for getting smooth cuts and to avoid crumbling.
- All purpose flour (maida) – 1 cup
- Lukewarm milk – 4 tbsp
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – a pinch
- Oil (neutral flavoured)(Sunflower oil) – 5 tbsp
- Sugar (Desi Khand) – 5 tbsp
- Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
- Chocochips – 1/8 cup
- Hazelnuts (chopped) – 1/8 cup
- Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside. This is your dry ingredient mix.
- In a separate bowl take oil and sugar, Beat them together either with a hand whisk for around 10-15 minutes or an electric beater at medium speed for 5 minutes till the sugar is dissolved fully and the mixture has sufficiently fluffed up. Do not over beat these as you may end up loosing all the entrapped air in the mixture.
- Now add the chopped hazelnuts, chocochips & vanilla essence alongwith the dry ingredients mix. Use cut and fold method of mixing using a spatula and finally with a light hand. Mix the ingredients till everything is fully mixed. No need to do over mixing.
- Cover the biscotti dough in a cling foil and keep it to refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal portions and shape them in two 1-1.5 inch thick and 2 inch wide oblong shaped loaves using some dry flour over your rolling surface.
- Now place these loaves carefully using a palette knife over a preheated greased baking tray. Place the loaves atleast 2 inches apart as they are going to expand while baking. Bake these in a preheated oven at 170 degree C for 35 minutes. The baking time varies with different ovens. Bake till the crust of loaves are light brown and when pressed a little with a finger, the crust springs back, i.e its neither too hard nor too soft. This is your biscotti’s first bake.
- Let the loaves cool down for exactly 10 minutes before cutting the biscotti using a serrated knife either straight or at an angle. The thickness of the slices should be 1/2 inch approx. Do not use sawing motion while cutting. Just cut the biscotti similar to onion slicing. The baked loaves should not be let cool down for more than 10 minutes as cold loaves will be hard to cut to smooth biscotti. You may even sprinkle some room temperature water over the loaves, wait for 5 more minutes and then cut for getting smooth cuts.
- Carefully place the cut biscotti on a greased tray keeping the slices close to each other as they will not expand in the second time bake. Bake in the preheated oven at 160 degree C for 10 minutes on one side and then flip the sides and bake for another 10 minutes. This is your biscotti’s second and final bake.
- Let the biscotti cool down to room temperature before enjoying them with a hot cup of your favourite beverage.
- This recipe, though I tried for the first time, turned out to be a rage in my kids. So a must try for all the mothers out there!!
‘Cooking for our loved ones with love!’