Biscotti Del Laggaccio
-----FOR THE SPONGE-----
Active dry yeast,
2 1/2 tsp
-----FOR THE DOUGH-----
unsalted, 1/2 stick
-cut into bits & softened
"Did Columbus and his crews sail to the new world eating these
traditional Ligurian biscotti? It's entirely possible, although
theirs would have been cooked much longer to drive off all the
moisture, allowing them to keep for an entire ocean crossing. Though
these biscotti are made with an enriched bread dough instead of the
traditional cookie dough and have a somewhat softer texture, they
keep well when stored in an airtight container."
Make the sponge: In the bowl of an electric mixer proof the yeast in
the water for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy. Whisk in the
flour and let the sponge stand, covered with plastic wrap, for 30
minutes or until it is foamy.
To the sponge, add the sugar, the water and the butter and stir the
mixture until it is combined well. Add the flour, the aniseed, and
the salt and with the electric mixer fitted with the dough hook knead
the dough for 3 minutes, or until it is smooth but still sticky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat it
with the oil, and let it rise, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for
1 1/2 hours, or until it is double in bulk.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, halve it, and
with floured hands form each piece of dough into a flattish log 15
inches long and 2 inches wide. Transfer the logs to a buttered and
floured baking sheet and let them rise, covered with a kitchen towel,
for 2 hours, or until they are double in bulk.
Bake the logs in the middle of a preheated 350F oven for 30
minutes, or until they are golden brown, and let them cool on the
baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes. On a cutting board cut the
logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1 inch thick slices, arrange the
biscotti, cut sides down, on the baking sheet and bake them in the
350F oven for 10 minutes on each side, or until they are pale golden.
Transfer the biscotti to racks to cool and store them in airtight
containers. MAKES:ABOUT 30 BISCOTTI
SOURCE: Gourmet magazine, December 1992