Let’s start off with a minuscule warning – these are not for dunking in your coffee. Or tea. Or hot chocolate. Or any other hot beverage for that matter. Unless said hot beverage is soup, in a mug. But not cup-a-soup. Please not that. Not unless it is the only thing left in the cupboard and you will waste away from starvation before you get to the supermarket. Which, let’s face it, for most of us, is pretty unlikely. So no cup-a-soup. Okay?
I have digressed. And this post has barely begun. Which bodes well for the rest of it.
The idea of savoury biscotti has been languishing in my notebook of ideas ever since I made the almond, orange and chocolate ones last year.
Sometimes, as a person who has to avoid gluten at all costs, I miss things that are crunchy. But crunchy with bite. Not crisp-crunchy, shatter into a bazillion pieces when you bite into it so that most of it goes down your top and into your bra crunchy. Do you have any idea what I am trying to say? Crunchy with substance, that’s it! Something you can really get your teeth into. That also isn’t sweet. Savoury cravings can sometimes be the most difficult to satisfy.
The idea behind these was to provide something I could dip into soup at lunch time, without fear of bitty bra syndrome (I really need to stop talking about bras).
The soup acts in much the same way as coffee / tea / hot chocolate does in a sweet, more traditional, biscotti combination. It softens the biscuit, making it easier to bite.
I wanted to use Mediterranean / Italian flavours in them, because of what I hope is obvious reasons, however because of the olives, they take a little longer to dry out than their sweet counterparts, and also have a little tendency to go soft quicker. But a quick revival in the oven will bring them back to their crunchy glory.
Also – and here is where things can get really wild – they can be bashed up a bit and scattered onto salads like
cretins croutons. In my gluten eating days I could never ever get behind cretins croutons. I never really got them. But these, I get . . . these would make a delicious salad adornment.
- 100g sweet rice flour, aka glutinous rice flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g fine cornmeal
- 25g corn starch, aka corn flour (not to be confused with maize flour)
- 1 tbsp ground arrowroot
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp crushed black pepper
- 40g whole blanched almonds
- 40g pitted black olives, cut into pieces (if you can find the ones with herbs, all the better)
- 50g Parmesan, finely grated
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 135ml cold water
- Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius / 160 fan / 350 Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients together apart from the olive oil and the water.
- Add the olive oil and start to bring the mixture together. Add the water gradually until you have a soft dough that isn’t crumbly.
- Form the dough into a rough oval, approximately 2cm thick and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least an hour.
- Once the biscotti dough has cooled, place on a chopping board and slice on the diagonal to form the individual biscotti biscuits. Take care not to slice them too thick or they will be difficult to dry out.
- Arrange the biscotti on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Turn them over and bake for a further 20 minutes. If there is still some give when they are pressed gently in the middle, bake for a further 10 minutes, or until they have crisped up.
- Transfer immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Best stored in something like a sandwich bag. An air-tight container will not allow any residual moisture to escape and the biscotti will go soft quickly. However, if this does happen, place in the oven for 10 minutes or so to firm up again.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015