Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Bread Baking Babes bake Biscotti Picanti

4 years of babedom! Now, how to celebrate?
Wine? But of course! 
Bread? Heck yes!
Bread with wine in it?
Now you are talking!

Bread Baking Babe Lien chose the perfect party fare for our anniversary bread. Biscotti Picanti is perfect with wine and cheese, our favourite bread accompaniments. The recipe is from Anissa Helou's Savory Baking from the Mediterranean and she has very kindly given us permission to feature it this month on our blogs.

The dough comes together quite easily, with rest times for the semolina to absorb the liquids. Like some of the other Babes, I subbed in extra wine for the water and added it by feel.
Mine took a long time to rise in my chilly Canadian kitchen, and got a little smooshed down again when I cut them, but the results were crispy, crumbly delicious. I like them with a smear of cream cheese and a glass of white wine.

If you would like to bake with us this month, and earn a Bread Baking Buddy badge, check out Lien's post for all the groovy details.

 Biscotti Picanti (Sicilian Spicy Rusks)
(makes about 36 rusks)

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 package = 7 grams)
60 ml warm water
1 ⅔ (± 225-255 g) cups AP-flour (+ extra for kneading and shaping)
1 ⅔ (240 g) cups semolina flour
¼ cups (25 g) aniseed
3 Tbsp (28 g) white sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup + 2 Tbsp (150 ml/130 g) extra-virgin olive oil (+ extra for greasing the bowl)
¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine
115 ml water


1. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup/60 ml warm water and stir until creamy.

2. Combine flours, aniseed, sesame seeds, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the olive oil in the well and rub into the flour with your fingertips until well incorporated.

3. Add yeast, wine and ½ cup (115 ml) warm water en knead briefly to make a rough ball of dough. Knead this for another 3-5 minutes or so. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Knead for another 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and let rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered with greased plastic, for 1 hour in a warm place (or until doubled).


 4. Divide the dough in 3 equal pieces and shape each piece into a loaf about 12”( 30 cm) long.
Transfer the logs to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and leaving at least 2 inches/5 cm between them so they can expand. Take a dough cutter (or sharp knife) and cut the loaves into 1 inch/2,5 cm thick slices (or if you prefer them thinner in 1"/1 cm slices). Cover with greased plastic and let the rise for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 500ºF/260ºC.

5. Bake the sliced loaves for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 175ºF/80ºC.
Separate the slices and turn so that they lie flat on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for about 1 hour more, or until golden brown and completely hardened (if not totally hardened, return to the turned off oven to let them dry more).Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve at room temperature, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

(source: “Savory baking from the Mediterranean” - Anissa Helou)

 The Bread Baking Babes
This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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