Biscotti

Biscotti

There is an Italian bakery in Bridgeport, CT called Del Prete, and they make these great mini biscotti. They are the perfect size for dunking in an espresso or a glass of vin santo. I usually get the chocolate and the almond from Del Prete, but have been making butterscotch biscotti off and on for a few years, and thought I would try making them smaller like those from Del Prete. I also wanted to try making chocolate. The recipe I have adapted for the butterscotch biscotti is actually one my mother clipped from a newspaper 20 years ago. I don’t know what newspaper it was, but the recipe is one that was sent in by a reader, and it was called Grandmom Arcuri’s Butterscotch “Biscotti”. The quotes around the word biscotti were apparently because they eliminated the second baking in their recipe. Since biscotti actually means twice baked, I guess you could say they were not technically “biscotti”. Anyway, Grandmom Arcuri wherever you are, thanks. Butterscotch Biscotti Recipe Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 55 min | Total time: 1 hour and 15 min 3 large eggs 1 cup sugar 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 teaspoon almond extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 cup butterscotch chips 1 large egg beaten in a bowl Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in butter and almond extract until combined. In a small bowl whisk together flour and baking powder, then stir it into...
Artisan Breads Every Day

Artisan Breads Every Day

I started baking bread about 10 years ago using Carol Field’s The Italian Baker as my reference. That is where I learned about using a starter or biga to improve the flavor of my bread. The next important book in my bread baking education was The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. An essential volume for anybody serious about baking bread, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, taught me much more about the science of bread baking and introduced me to different types of starters and other pre-fermenting methods that help extract maximum flavor from the combination of flour, water and yeast. Bread baking can be a time consuming task. Mixing, rising, shaping, and baking bread can take hours depending on the type of bread. In recent years an answer to this problem for home bakers has appeared in the person of no-knead bread recipes, like the techniques in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. These recipes cut down on the active time required to bake bread, the principle being that you make a large batch of very wet dough with minimal kneading, place it in the refrigerator to ferment, take the dough out the day you want to bake, shape, proof for forty minutes or so and bake. While the results can be very good, especially considering the amount of time and effort put in, I find the breads are not quite as good as the ones I make when I use Reinhart and Field’s formulas. In his latest book, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day, America’s bread guru comes through with a solution. In this book Reinhart takes...

Master Recipe: Artisan Bread in Five

I recently blogged about my experiences with the no knead bread recipes from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. This prompted several requests for the recipe from readers. Zoe Francois has kindly given me permission to reprint the master recipe from the book: The Master Recipe: Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf) Also, please take time to visit the authors’ websites: ArtisanBreadInFive.com – For answers to questions on the techniques/recipes. Zoe Bakes – Features baking recipes and great...

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

A few years back I was doing a lot of bread baking. I worked my way through a good portion of The Italian Baker by Carol Field and the Italian bread recipes from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart. I made a mean Pane Pugliese. As much as I enjoyed the process and especially the results, baking bread at home is something you have to make time for and 2 children later that time is harder to find.   When I saw Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois in the bookstore I was intrigued but skeptical. The thought of being able to make good bread without setting aside an entire morning was pretty exciting so I decide to pick the book up. I had it sitting on my shelf for a couple of months before trying the master recipe, but I am really impressed by the results of my first attempt.    The concept behind the book is making a large batch of high moisture dough (enough to make four 1-pound loaves), mixing it just enough to form the dough, no kneading.  The dough is then covered and left to rise for two hours before being stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. When you want to bake a loaf you cut off a piece of dough, shaping it quickly, again no kneading, and let it rest for 40 minutes. Then you pop it into the oven and bake for 30 minutes and you have hot fresh-baked bread.   While five minutes a day is a Barnum-esque claim (it actually refers to active...