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Print this Recipe    Biscotti 37

Biscotti di Prato

1 cup almonds, whole, unblanched
2 cups unbleached flour, unsifted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

This recipe makes about 4 dozen very crunchy biscotti. I've never
put chocolate on the biscotti. You need two 12x15 inch (approx.)
cookie sheets. Butter and flour ONE of the cookie sheets. The
oven should be at 350 to roast the almonds, and 300 to bake the
biscotti. Total baking time for the biscotti is about 2 hours.
You also need to have handy and ready a surface for kneading the
biscotti dough and a surface for cutting the baked biscotti.
Roast the almonds in a 350 degree often until lightly browned (10-15
minutes). Cool nuts completely. Lower the oven temperature to 300.
In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar,
baking soda, salt) just to mix. Separate out about 1/2 cup of this
mixture, and spread SOME of the reserved 1/2 cup onto your kneading
surface. In a small bowl or measuring cup, lightly beat together
the eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the flour mixture in the
medium bowl and pour in the egg/vanilla mixture. Stir the flour
into the egg mixture from the outside of the well. Continue
combining until the mixture is too stiff to stir.

Turn the mixture out onto your kneading surface, which should
already be floured with some of the reserved dry ingredients. With
floured hands (use some of the reserved dry ingredients for this
if you want), fold the dough over itself until it coheres. Use
the rest of the reserved dry ingredients for your hands and the
work surface, if necessary. Press the nuts into the dough and
keep folding the dough over itself until the nuts are evenly
distributed. Let the dough sit a few minutes so the flour absorbs
the liquid completely, making the dough less sticky. Divide the
dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece with your hands so that
the pieces are elongated into strips about 1" wide and 12"-14"
long.

Place the strips on the buttered/floured baking sheet, leaving
about 4" between each strip. If you want somewhat wider strips,
flatten the strips with your hands to a width of 2". Bake for
about 50 minutes at 300. Let the strips cool for 5 minutes, and
them remove them with a spatula to a cutting surface. Using a
sharp knife and making downward strokes, cut the strips into diagonal
bars about 1/2" wide. Lay the cut biscotti on their sides on the
two baking sheets. Toast 35-50 minutes, depending on how dark (and
crunchy?) you want them.

To make much wider strips, divide the dough into two strips, same
length (12"-14"). Each cookie will be about 6" long. This should
make about 2 dozen cookies.

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