Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rosie Attends Cooking Class. Biscotti 102.

I'm with Zoe, Zelda, and Zooter and Zelda is making Lemon Almond Biscotti. Earlier, we watched as Zelda made Cranberry Walnut Biscotti. While that biscotti was baking, Zelda started on Lemon Almond Biscotti.
Here's Zelda's basic recipe for biscotti: Almond, Currant, and Spice Biscotti 3 cups sugar 1 cup butter, room temperature 4 large eggs 2 TB dry Marsala Zelda omitted the Marsala. 2 tsp orange peel 2 tsp lemon peel Zelda used the zest of a lemon. I didn't remember seeing an orange. 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp minced anise seed 1 tsp ginger 1 tsp salt 6 cups flour 2 cups chopped toasted almonds Zelda used unchopped slivered almonds. 1 cup currants Zelda used golden raisins. This is the fun part of making biscotti. You start off with the basic batter and you can tailor the ingredients to whatever you like.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat sugar and butter until combined. Add peels, baking soda, ginger, salt, anise seed. Mix in half of flour, nuts, and currants. Carefully add remaining flour, nuts, and currants to dough. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and form into 3 x 8 inch logs. Place 2 logs on a baking sheet spacing apart, since these will spread. Brush with egg wash. Bake until golden brown and just firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Bake until crisp and golden brown.
Zelda is grating her lemon. I loved the prisms in her kitchen window. Rainbows were everywhere.
One addition Zelda made to this dough was Lemon Chips.
Grated lemon zest, golden raisins, and lemon chips.
Toasted almonds.
Golden raisins, lemon zest, and lemon chips.
Zooter, wanting one of Zelda's homemade dog biscuits. By the way, Zelda makes doggie muffins too. She gave me a bag to take to Dixie and I had one and it was delicious. That says a lot about a cook. I liked her dog food.
I love rainbows.
Another little rainbow on Zooter's tummy.
Wait, did I hear a crumb drop????
Rainbow over his heart.
Zelda is starting on the flour and butter. The recipe called for softened butter, but Zelda hadn't taken the butter out of the fridge yet, so she ended up nuking it and melting it. It worked.
Zelda is using an Orange Cream flavor oil. Just a few drops. Oh, Zzzadig? Care to guess where that little puncture wound came from?
Ginger and anise seed.
A sturdy mixer is a must for biscotti.
Plus terrific hands. And Zelda has those in spades.
This is one of my favorite pictures from our afternoon together.
This dough is different from the first. The first biscotti dough was quite moist and sticky. This dough is drier and crumblier. So Zelda improvised a bit.
She oiled her board a bit then turned out the dough and started kneading, incorporating the oil into the dough and working the dough until she had a nice cohesive mass.
Looking much better now.
Zelda separated the dough and worked on each half ...
... adding oil as needed.
She separated the dough again and kneaded it, developing the texture.
Zelda ended up with four nice doughs.
She's only using 3 of the doughs for cooking today, saving the 4th for later. As before, Zelda took her time shaping the loaves and pressing the dough, tightening the texture. This is an important step in producing a proper biscotti.
Brush with egg wash. And bake. These did spread a bit, like the recipe said they would.
After cooling, Zelda cut the biscotti into slices and baked them again.
I'm having a hard time deciding which biscotti I like better.
I feel confident now attempting biscotti for next Christmas; however, I will be switching to King Arthur flour for that. That might just make the difference for me. Thank you so much, Zelda and Zoe, for a fun, informative, and really tasty afternoon.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Dear Rosie, I love all of the ingredients in the biscotti. I shall try making these this weekend. Blessings, Catherine