Coffee’s sweet, crunchy best friend.
Forget the butter-loaded version common to American coffee shops. Real Italian biscotti are wonderfully lean, giving them a near-miraculous shelf life and the capacity to withstand a good dunking in hot coffee.
, chopping almonds produces a mix of chunks, shards, and fine, mealy bits, adding variable flavor and texture to the dough. Again, whole almonds are perfect for the occasion, but blanched will do the trick, and create a more delicate flavor and appearance overall.
With the mix-ins prepared, all you have to do is toss all the ingredients into a bowl and combine them to form a soft dough. I use astand mixerfor convenience, but hand-mixing works just as well.When the dough comes together, I scrape it onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a rough log, short enough to be easily transferred to a baking sheet.
Once the dough is positioned on a parchment-linedhalf-sheet pan, I continue rolling the log until it meets the full length of the pan. From there, I gently pat it out until it's about four inches wide and half an inch thick.The dimensions here aren't essential to follow—biscotti can be formed to just about any size—but the size and shape will affect baking time and yield. If you prefer mini biscotti, try making two logs instead. If you want longer, thinner pieces, try a shorter, wider log. In either case, throw the suggested timetable from my recipe out the window, and use visual cues to guide you instead.
However I've shaped the dough, I always take a moment to dust any excess flour off its surface, before baking the log or logs until they're puffed, firm, and just barely starting to brown around the edges.I let the half-baked dough cool for about five minutes, then transfer it to a cutting board, where I let it cool five minutes more. The initial cooling phase ensures the hot dough won't break in half when lifted, and the second cooling phase lets the biscotti develop enough structure to be sliced with ease, while avoiding the hardened crust that will form when the dough has fully cooled.
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