i must have blinked; somehow, it is suddenly tuesday and time for the next (tuesdays with dorie) post from baking with julia. even better is the fact that this month, we will do 3 recipes. first up is the hazelnut biscotti recipe hosted by jodi of homemade and wholesome and katrina of baking and boys! be sure to visit either of their blogs for the complete recipe or better still, buy a copy of the book baking with julia and bake along with us.
baking biscotti is something special for me. years ago, i developed a series of recipes for biscotti and we actually opened a small wholesale bakery that specialized in biscotti. we baked more than 20 flavors and had about 40 wholesale accounts as well as a small mail order business. fast forward 15 years and i have moved on; i no longer operate my own baking business. however, i still get requests for biscotti and bake them as gifts for friends and family. in my current baking job, i make them just to grind them into crumbs and make cookie crust pie shells with them. suffice it to say, i was curious to try this recipe.
upon reading the recipe, i realized that i had the option to change the nuts used. that was a good thing since i had a severe shortage of hazelnuts (none actually) and in the 105 (no not kidding) degree heat, no desire to go out to the store. i chose pistachios and lemon zest to flavor mine since that is one of my favorite biscotti combinations.
first step was to measure out all of the ingredients. since my pistachios were already skinned and toasted, i eliminated the blanching and toasting step from the recipe. actually, whenever i make biscotti, i always use untoasted nuts. the reason behind this is that they have the potential to become over toasted in the second bake and that can give the biscotti a bitter and burnt taste.
this is a very lean recipe. by lean i am referring to the fact that the only fat in the dough is what is present in the egg yolks and the nuts. low fat isn’t a bad thing unless you have dental issues because lean biscotti are hard biscotti.
the instructions for shaping the logs suggests flouring your hands. with the number of logs i have baked, i can tell you don’t use flour, use a little water instead. a small amount of moisture on your hands will allow you to quickly shape the logs without the dough sticking to them.
since i am also working on what i hope will be my next book, i mixed up a batch of my own recipe. these are chocolate with almonds and coffee beans. the biggest difference from the twd recipe and mine (besides the chocolate) is that these have a little less egg and a generous amount of butter. that difference results in a lighter, softer crunch. one guaranteed to be friendlier to your smile!
be sure to check out the tuesdays with dorie page to see the biscotti’s from all of the participants!