Nut and Seed Biscotti

Nut and Seed Biscotti Recipe

The other afternoon I set out to make thin, biscotti-style crackers. They were to be densely pebbled with all manner of nuts and seeds - green pistachios, rust-toned hazelnuts, and off-black poppy seeds. I envisioned nuts and seeds packed together like pebbles in concrete, with barely enough flour and egg to bind everything together. I'd double-bake them - first in a loaf pan, after which I'd slice them thinly. Then back in the oven on a baking sheet until crisp.

Nut and Seed Biscotti Recipe

As with many cookies or crackers you can certainly experiment with shape. These make a nice, three-bite base for a generous slather of goat cheese topped with a bit of chutney. You could also incorporate any number of spices, herbs, or zests into the cracker dough, or experiment with your own medley of nuts and seeds. The next time I may slice them the long way - a bit more challenging, but I suspect it would result in an even more dramatic (while still being rustic) cracker.

Nut and Seed Biscotti Recipe

The best of the best were the crackers I sliced thinnest. They had good snap, toasted up beautifully, and were notably better than their thicker counterparts. As I mention in the recipe, I used a serrated knife and a combination of two knife techniques. 1. A back-and-forth slicing motion (if there were lots of nuts at the surface of that partiular slice) 2. A fast and decisive single cut. But the real key to easy slicing is making sure the loaf is well baked through. Let me know if you end up making these with your own ingredient twists - you can post to the comments, or if you have pictures post them to the 101 Cookbook Flickr group.

Nut and Seed Biscotti Recipe

My seed mixture was a blend of 1 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts, 1/3 cup each of lightly toasted walnuts, pistachio nuts, and pumpkin seeds, and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds. If you don't have white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour should work. I'm also anxious to try these with spelt flour to see how it goes.

1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds (see head notes)
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup natural cane sugar, fine grain
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Rack in the middle. Lightly butter or oil a 1-pound loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, nuts and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add the flour-nut mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined. The dough will be quite thick. Scoop into the prepared pan and press the dough into place using damp fingertips. You want to be sure everything is nice and compact, level on top, with no air bubbles hiding in there. Bake for 45-50 minutes - or until the loaf tests done. If you under-cook the loaf at this stage, it makes slicing difficult. Remove loaf from the oven, and turn the oven up to 425F.

Immediately run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the loaf, remove it from pan, and set the loaf upside down on a cutting board. Using a thin serrated knife (or the thinnest, sharpest knife you have), slice the loaf into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet. brush tops with a bit of olive oil and bake for 3-4 minutes or until the bottoms are a touch golden and toasty. Pull them out of the oven, flip each one, and brush the other side with olive oil. Bake for another 4-5 minutes or until nice and crisp. Let cool.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • Biscotti-baking thoughts have been lingering in my mind for the last few days..now, they have a reason to materialize.. I am thinking of taking your recipe as a base, and making these twists: 1. using half millet and half whole-wheat pastry flour (please advice, if there is any reason I should use white whole wheat flour, instead of whole wheat pastr flour) 2. adding orange zest and a teaspoon of vanilla 3. nut mix: sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds (just because I have these on hand) This will be my first time baking biscotti..I will let you know how this experiment goes.. -G I'm not sure I'd go half-and-half with the millet, I might try with 1/4 or 1/3 millet flour first and then up the ratio in later batches if it is working. But please, report back - the orange zest sounds great :)

    Gayatri
  • Hi, it looks great and it would be the perfect thing to bring to a party I'm going to on Wednesday, but I don't eat any sugar. Do you think it's possible to substitute agave nectar or honey? thanks, sari Hi Sari, I think you can skip the sugar altogether if you like, or do a drizzle of agave nectar or honey. You should be fine. I'd say you probably won't be using enough to have to adjust the baking temp.

    sari
  • Heidi, I absolutely love biscotti (and the recipes you feature here on 101 cookbooks!). For years now, whenever I visit my Mum, she would ask me to bake her biscotti made with hazelnuts, cinammon, orange zest and honey. After many years of practice, I found that there are a few tricks to making clean thin slices of biscotti: 1) get a good bread/serrated knife - I use one from the Wustof Le Cordon Bleu range and it is the best bread knife for the task. I think it is all in the serrated edge... some just work better than others. 2) a sawing motion i find is best, 3) wrapping the biscotti while its warm in cling wrap and allowing it to cool completely (even in the fridge overnight) allows the loaf to "set" and go a little "stale" (think day-old bread), making it easier to slice. A fresh or warm biscotti loaf will more likely crumble and break regardless of tool or technique used (think soft "bread" stands no chance against hard nuts) Well, I hope this helps... Keep up the great recipes Heidi! HS: Great tips Li, thanks for sharing. I'll try the day-after technique the next time to see if I can get my slices even thinner.

    li
  • To be honest, I've never taken a cooking class in my life (thought a month in Paris at le Cordon Bleu is on my to-do list!), so am always glad to get advice on such topics as cutting techniques... I'm learning, and you are a great teacher! I would go to California for a class of yours, for sure! Thanks, Heidi! HS: Thanks Kim :)

    kim
  • Amazing pictures! You must have a better camera than me! Haha. I wish I didn't live in the heart of Asia so I could have an oven and bake stuff!

    Amy Powis
  • These look great! I'm always on the look out for new and healthy biscotti recipes. Can't wait to try this one...

    rebecca
  • Hello Heidi These look great and I can't wait to try them, but I always have difficulty to achieve a nice clean cut without the slices crumbling, do you have any suggestions, r would it be the knife I am using? HS: there are a few tips in the post, and some great tips throughout the comments as well - hope they help Trish.

    trish
  • dear heidi, i always feel proud expecially when i got visitors. You really make me real man around the kitchen. keep up.

    mokete
  • Never made biscotti but am looking forward to your recipes. On the subject of slicing thinly (whether cakes/cookie dough/making pinwheel slices of wraps with smoked slamon and cream cheese) I find that dipping my sharpest knife into very hot water helps enormously .

    catherine
  • Dear Heidi, this would be wonderful with millet flour that we get so readily in Delhi. I cant wait to try this out with Pearlmillet or "Ragi" flour. It will make it even more nutty and nutritious. Thank you for all the inspirational meal ideas. You really lift my spirits!

    Shanti
  • I make all my biscotti recipes with spelt flour and they are great. This recipe is ideal for spelt flour. HS: That was my sense as well Helen, glad you are seconding the sentiment - maybe someone will give them a go. :)

    helen
  • Maida Heatter has a terrific nut and seed biscotti recipe; it's called Multigrain and Seed Biscotti on page 28 of Maida Heatter's Brand New Book of Great Cookies. It contains whole wheat, rye and unbleached wheat flours, as well as oat bran, cornmeal, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and honey. It is delicious. She makes it into logs for the first bake as you would normal biscotti. I regularly make biscotti with white spelt flour and it works just as well as with wheat flour. Also, I find when making biscotti in a loaf pan it is best to freeze the baked cooled loaf to facilitate thin slices.

    Alexandra
  • What an excellent idea. Definitely like the sound of this being thinly sliced. And toasted. And with goats cheese. Sounds like it would make a great tasting and great looking appetiser.

    Daily Spud
  • Heidi, you're great. This is a must try.

    Leni
  • Ohhh yummy...I am always looking for different ways to use more whole wheat flour in my baking...will let you know how it goes... CHEERS!

    Mandira
  • Hi Heidi I just wanted to say thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I really look forward to my updates and not just for the recipes, wonderful photography and even the 'what to dos' and 'where to gos' if you're in portland/tokyo etc but the sheer inspiring nature of this blog. I look forward to experimenting with these biscotti and loads more of your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing. Mary x HS: Thanks Mary. I certainly get a lot of inspiration from all of you - the great comments, suggestions, and all-around encouragement.

    Mary
  • Thank's alot for your healthy recipes which I always receive from you. Special for today the Nut n Seed Biscotti Recipe is one of my Favourite. thank's again. GBU

    sriwati
  • What a unique idea!!! Do you think this could be made with barley? HS: Let me know if you try it Nirvana.

    Nirvana
  • mmm. Can't WAIT to try these. Do you think a fine grain whole wheat flour would work? It's hard to get whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour in Europe. Maybe I will use spelt or rye flour and let you know how it goes (still have left-over rye from making the Swedish rye cookies!). Thanks as always for your wonderful healthy recipes that make me feel good about being a foodie and a vegetarian :) HS: I think I'd go the spelt route if you can get it. The whole wheat flour I get in the States is often hit-or-miss for substituting - I often end up with baked treats that are a bit on the dry side. I've had better success with spelt when I'm out of whole wheat pastry flour. Then again, it really depends on the recipe. Let me know how it goes! -h

    Elana
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