Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The orange walnut biscotti test

My homemade Gluten-Free biscotti:

If you've ever wanted to travel back in time to Ancient Rome, try dunking a piece of biscotti in wine. (Well, it works for me). I don't know if there is sound archaeological evidence of the ancients dipping cookies in wine -- if you've got proof please tell me. The ancient origins of the word biscotti, however, are free for the taking. From the Latin -bis meaning twice and coctum meaning cooked.

Now if only some Roman baker imagined me, two thousand years later in my middle class 21st- century American kitchen (actually it's still a 20th-century kitchen, alas), twice-baking my own biscotti GLUTEN-FREE. That would be a mind-blower. The original, crunchy, golden brown cookie made without wheat? How could it be? And by the way, Tiberius, we still use aqueducts. And when you see steam rising from Vesuvius, you might want to evacuate.

So, I really enjoy biscotti with my coffee and it isn't an indulgence I want to give up now that we've gone gluten-free. As I mentioned in the carrot cake post, Rebecca Reilly's Gluten-Free Baking includes six GF biscotti recipes, with variations given for each recipe. For my first attempt, I chose the Walnut Orange biscotti. People with other sensitivities should note that this recipe is gluten-free, but contains DAIRY, NUTS, EGGS and SUGAR.

The first few steps are familiar to anyone who's baked: combine the dry ingredients; whip the butter, sugar and wet ingredients; combine the wet and dry ingredients. Voila--dough. I'll focus here on the twice-baked part which is crucial to biscotti.

After the prepared dough is chilled, roll it into logs:

Bake the logs.

This is what they looked like after the first baking:

Next, slice the baked logs:

As you can see, the result was extra crumbly.
Spread the baked slices on a cookie sheet and rebake.
Here they are just out of the oven:

Seriously, can you tell these are gluten-free? Yum!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Wow, those look so good! And fancy! I want to come to your house! ;-)