Biscotti troubles
Posted: 04 January 2011 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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After having some pretty addicting biscotti from Costco, I decided to learn to make them myself, but I ended up with rock hard cookies two times. Instead of being crunchy and slightly crumbly, my biscotti were so hard you could break a tooth on them. On my first try, I used a recipe from Williams Sonoma, which I think had the wrong proportions of flour, leavening, and eggs. The end result was really dense, and you could hardly see any gas bubbles in the cookies. The second recipe was from Joy of Baking (http://www.joyofbaking.com/biscotti/AlmondBiscotti.html), which had a more airy crumb but still a bit too hard. I also was unable to shape the dough at all. It was so liquidy that I just poured it on the baking sheet. Surprisingly, I still ended up with the biscotti shape in the end. Maybe I need to refigerate the dough for an hour before trying to shape it?

But anyway, my main question is why my biscotti were so rock hard? I noticed that the biscotti I bought from Costco had butter in them. The recipes I used did not have butter. Is it something I’m doing wrong, or is it just the recipe?

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Posted: 04 January 2011 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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michaelnrdx - 04 January 2011 08:27 PM

But anyway, my main question is why my biscotti were so rock hard? I noticed that the biscotti I bought from Costco had butter in them. The recipes I used did not have butter. Is it something I?m doing wrong, or is it just the recipe?

I wonder if your expectations are off?  True biscotti are supposed to be very dry, because they’re intended to dunk into coffee.  I have had seen products called “biscotti” that are more like crumbly cookies and were good to eat by themselves, but I think this form isn’t traditional.  Butter (or any fat) would certainly make a product more tender.

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Posted: 04 January 2011 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with Charles T. Much of what is sold as biscotti are just, basically, biscotti-shaped cookies—which is all fine, of course.  The “real” stuff is pretty hard, but not tooth-breaking, either.  You can eat them without dunking if you like a really good crunch, put it that way!  So, your recipe might have been right on.  Maybe a more recent biscotti from some kind of popular (rather than classic) source might be more like what people are enjoying today as biscotti.

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Posted: 04 January 2011 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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When I used to make them, esp. according to an Italian recipe, they were very dense and hard. They are meant to be dipped, you know. In wine, or another liquid. I got to the point where I would even dip them in water if I didn’t have any coffee or tea around. But they were delicious, even dipped in water.

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Posted: 07 January 2011 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It’s either a King Arthur book or Americas Test Kitchen has two recipes, thay describe them as American Style and Italian.  I prefer the less hard American style.  They are still crunchy but light and won’t break your teeth if you try and eat them dry.  The Italian are meant to be dunked to soften them.

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Posted: 07 January 2011 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I think I’ll try a recipe with butter next time. I know biscotti are supposed to be dry and hard, but mines don’t seem to improve when dipped into coffee. After soaking for a minute, it still feels a tad dry. The cookies did get soft from the liquid, but it seems like it has trouble absorbing moisture.

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