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Non-tough Biscotti

oakjoan Aug 16, 2006 07:34 PM

I have made biscotti numerous times with less than stellar success. They taste good but are tough and not crispy the way they are when you buy them from Peet's coffee or at a bakery.

Anybody have a good recipe? I've made them with eggs, without eggs, with more butter and less butter.... help me out here.

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    scott123 RE: oakjoan Aug 17, 2006 04:48 PM

    Toughness in cookies is almost always a gluten issue. Overmixing will create cause toughness. You want to mix these only until incorporated. Fat, to an extent, prevents gluten from forming, so extra butter will give you an increase in tenderness. Lastly, a lower protein flour will make a huge difference. I use unbleached pastry flour for all my cookies/crusts, which I purchase by the pound from my local bakery.

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      sheiladeedee RE: oakjoan Aug 17, 2006 04:57 PM

      Are you baking them long enough? They need to be thoroughly dried out after the second baking. Then keep them in airtight storage if the weather is humid.

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        chef auletta RE: oakjoan Aug 17, 2006 05:02 PM

        Try to not play with the dough too much. I find with just about anything (except yeast) that it helps if you touch and mess around with the batter as little as possible. I have a great recipe for cranberry-pistachio biscotti from epicurious.com: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        It is always a hit whenever I make it... sometimes I'll substitute almonds for the pistachios. Enjoy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: chef auletta
          sheiladeedee RE: chef auletta Aug 17, 2006 05:58 PM

          I think this may be the same cranberry-pistachio biscotti that was featured in a Gourmet magazine article on biscotti years ago. I make that regularly around Christmas for my sister's cookie platters. The green and red make a wonderful holiday look and they taste good. The same dough works with other combinations of fruit and nuts. I like using dried cherries with slivered almonds, with a bit of almond extract.

          1. re: sheiladeedee
            PseudoNerd RE: sheiladeedee Aug 17, 2006 09:47 PM

            Try making them with less flour and more fillers such as nuts, chocolate, and especially dried fruits. It wouldn't be a pure biscotti, but you could also substitute some of the flour with something that doesn't bind together as tightly-- almond meal would be excellent.

        2. Robert Lauriston RE: oakjoan Aug 17, 2006 06:40 PM

          Biccotti are supposed to be hard and crunchy. That's why they're traditionally dunked in wine.

          If you want them softer, look for a recipe with more butter. But that's not traditional, and they tend to fall apart when dunked.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            oakjoan RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 18, 2006 04:31 AM

            I am not talking about softer biscotti and I know what traditional biscotti taste and feel like. Mine are tough in a different way. They're not crisp-tough, but thick tough....if anybody can understand what I'm talking about.

            Thanks for the advice all.

            1. re: oakjoan
              Smokey RE: oakjoan Aug 18, 2006 02:35 PM

              oakjoan--i totally understand what you're talking about (I understood the distinction you drew between "tough" and "crispy" that Mr. Lauriston didn't). Unfortunately, I don't have any good advice. In addition to no overworking the dough, do you think you're slicing the biscotti too thick?

              1. re: oakjoan
                Katie Nell RE: oakjoan Aug 18, 2006 02:57 PM

                Me too, my biscotti have almost always turned out like this, but I kind of like them this way too, more like a hard cookie. I'll ask my mom, because she's made biscotti more than I have.

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              mattrapp RE: oakjoan Aug 18, 2006 03:00 PM

              Try cutting them thinner, and a longer,lower temperature second baking.

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