I set out here 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 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. They turned out fantastic, a welcome addition to any cheese board.
These biscotti make a nice, three-bite base for a generous slather of goat cheese topped with a bit of chutney or chile jam.
The best of the best of these biscotti were the ones 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 particular slice) 2. A fast and decisive single cut. But the real key to easy slicing is making sure the loaf is well baked through.
Switch It up: Variations
You can incorporate any number of spices, herbs, or zests into the biscotti dough. You can experiment with your own medley of nuts and seeds. The next time I bake these I’ve made note to slice them the long way. It might bit more challenging to slice, but the results will be even more dramatic. You can see the dough below here.
More Biscotti Recipes
Nut & Seed Biscotti
The seed mixture for the biscotti pictured 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 or whole wheat pastry flour will work.
- 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds
- 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 300°F 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 425°F.
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. Allow to cool a bit. 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.