Master this delicious biscotti recipe then adjust the ingredients to your own personal taste. The mother of all invention, this versatile dough can host any flavoring or spice, or additions such as chocolate, dried fruit, jam, seeds or nuts.
The dry ingredients
4 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
zest from one lemon or orange
3/4 cup sesame seeds
The wet ingredients
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup orange juice*
1 cup sweet unsalted butter, cut into pieces
To assemble the cookies
In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and zest until combined. Drop the butter into the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter, potato masher or your hands to blend the butter into the flour mixture until all crumbs are evenly formed.
Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy then add the vanilla and orange juice. Stir until fully incorporated.
Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the eggs and orange juice. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball kneading until the dough is not sticky. Leave the dry crumbs on the bottom of the bowl. Splash in drops of orange juice if necessary to form into a ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
To shape the cookies
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature. Cover the kitchen counter with a sheet of parchment paper. Scoop some of the sesame seeds onto the parchment paper.
Roll a fist-sized piece of dough between the palms of your hands forming a long solid log shape about 1/2-inch in diameter. Then push the dough into the sesame seeds. Continue to roll out the dough until completely covered in sesame seeds and smooth ropes are formed. Slice into 3-inch pieces and place in rows one inch apart on a parchment lined baking pan. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
To bake the cookies
Heat the oven to 350° F. and slide the oven rack to the middle of the oven.
Line 2 shallow baking sheets with parchment paper.
The cookie dough should fill 2 baking pans. Bake at 350° F. for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Sesame biscotti can be made a food processor or an electric mixer, however, this classic Italian hand-made technique is my favorite and I think this method tastes best.
*If using a blender, leave the orange juice out of the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients then blend. Pour in the orange juice gradually until the dough forms into a ball.
Butter instead of Crisco, orange juice instead of milk.