They’re finally here, Paleo Friends! My Famous Italian Twice-Baked Oven-Dried Perfect-for-Dipping-in-Coffee Biscotti have been Paleofied! Put your aprons on, ladies and gents, and get baking. These will not disappoint. On the contrary, they may well become part of your weekly routine – something you stay home on Sunday night for.
I’ve called them my Famous All Day Biscotti with good reason. So many people who have been in my life over these last 10 years have had the pleasure of dipping a Biscotti into coffee or tea, whilst chatting about anything that creates our lives. Most passionate cooks would like to be remembered for something, and I like to think people will talk about me and my Biscotti long after I’m gone. They are much loved, and they are one of my great comfort foods. I feel safe, secure and reassured when the biscuit tin is crammed full of them.
They have morphed and transformed over the years. They started out as ‘Sue’s Rusks’, from the gorgeous cookbook, Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. But, wanting to use whole ingredients instead of white flour and caster sugar, I started experimenting. I substituted half of the white flour for wholemeal, and then half of what was left for ground seeds. I chose raw sugar instead of caster sugar. At some point I added ground almonds. I decreased the butter, little by little, as I did the milk. And then I got rid of the two tablespoons of vinegar. The result was a perfect, thumb-sized, crescent shaped, crunchy little morsel that was full of goodness and not too sweet. They were known then as my Breakfast Biscuits.
Espresso coffee, rich and black, bubbling up from the percolator, topped with hot milk, with five or six Breakfast Biscuits alongside: now that was worth getting out of bed for. They were crisp and dry, just like Italian Cantucci. Tuscan Almond Biscuits are porous enough to absorb Vin Santo, the sweet after dinner wine, without breaking. My Breakfast Biscuits, likewise, were made for dipping. And of course, not just for breakfast. They’d wait there in their tin, perfectly appropriate for any time of day, and especially if someone dropped over for a cuppa.
And then there were the crumbs! Maybe the best bit! Sometimes I’d just gobble them up straight away. Other times I’d save them and add them to a granola. Or maybe, when there were enough, use them as biscuit base for a cheesecake. So good. So versatile.
The idea of renouncing my Breakfast Biscuits for a mere 30 days was the biggest mental challenge I had to face when preparing for our first Whole 30. Then, after seeing and feeling so good after that great Paleo introduction, I couldn’t bring myself to make them again, despite the emotional loss. Not with flour. Not with sugar. What could I do? I stayed strong, but I never got used to not having crunch and crumb in my life. A quarter avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice just never cut it in quite the same way.
I became a hungry voyeur of the American Paleo scene. They seemed to have so much. Affordable macadamia nuts. Super fine almond flour. Dairy free chocolate chips. Brand new companies seemed to be sprouting up all over the place, ready to fill the Paleo need. And then suddenly everyone was talking about Otto’s Cassava Flour. Oh, man! They had ingredients and products the likes of which can’t be found here, not even in the Organic stores. Something had to be done. We put on our Hunter and Gatherer caps, and set off on the long trail.
There are enough Asian and African immigrants here to have supermarkets dedicated to their products from home. I’d always frequented them because it was the only place I could find my much loved Thai Green Curry Paste, coconut milk, and Indian spices. With a brightened Paleo perspective, we started coming home with things that we’d never noticed before. Yucca, Yam and Green Plantains. And then, hidden on a back shelf, amidst chickpea flour and tapioca… there it was. The Cassava Flour. Now, I know it’s probably not anywhere as well manufactured as yours from Otto’s, but we’re over the moon with what has come to us from Ghana. It’s a fine, airy mass of powder that floats up in a cloud when I open the jar. And it forms a good dough.
The next challenge was the sweetener. I’d never added a lot, but the biscuits do need a little something. Honey seemed the way to go, especially as honey was a key ingredient in my old Christmas Cut-Out bisuits. The first couple of times – well, they were edible, but way too brown. As always, I turned to Stefanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion for advice. Turn down the heat! It was all I needed to do. Honey needs a lower temperature, less liquid than you would normally use, and leave them in for a bit longer.
Now, you can make them by hand, but the dough forms better in a food processor. Divide the dough in two, and squeeze-and-roll each portion so that you have two sausages the length of your baking tray. With a sharp knife, make 1cm thick slices, stopping just before the bottom so the sausage stays intact. After baking, take out the tray, slice all the way through, and separate into individual biscuits. Turn the oven off, put the tray back in on the lowest shelf, and leave them there until completely cool. Store them in a tin, and try not to eat too many at a time.
So radically transformed, and yet still the same, I decided they needed a new name. From Breakfast Biscuits, they’ve become All-Day Biscotti, my Famous All-Day Biscotti. Now gloriously Paleofied. They’re perfect. They’re back. And they’re here to stay. May you bake them and enjoy them with your family and friends throughout the day.
This recipe has been shared with Gluten Free Fridays.
Please make these, and share them. Like most cooks, I’d suggest following the recipe like it’s a science experiment the first time, and then when you’ve got the hang of it, go wild. Add spices, or orange zest. Substitute the seeds for pistacchios. Try with dessicated coconut instead of the flour – though you might need to add an extra egg, or more butter. And let me know how you go in the comments!
Don’t forget to post photo’s of your creations on the Paleomantic Facebook Page, or tag me on Instagram @paleomantic so I can share the joy!
Thanks so much for being here, and for taking the time. Thanks for connecting and commenting and sharing on Social, and thanks especially for your Pins on Pintrest. Every share helps to spread the message of our Real Food lifestyle.
Best Wishes, Good Health and Happiness.
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 1½ cups cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100 grams almonds
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons linseeds
- 75 grams butter or coconut butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/ 300°F, and place the rack in the middle.
- Place the coconut flour, cassava flour and baking powder into the food processor and pulse until combined.
- In a spice grinder, finely grind the almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and linseeds. Add to the dry ingredients and pulse to combine.
- Cut the butter or coconut butter into small pieces. Add to the dry ingredients, and process until well combined.
- Add the honey and the egg, and process until the dough forms a ball. You may need to add a little water, but no more that 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Divide the dough into two portions. Roll each portion into a sausage the length of your baking tray and place onto the baking mat, or a sheet of parchment paper. With a sharp knife, make 1cm thick slices, stopping just before you reach the bottom so that the sausages remain intact.
- Place into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. The biscotti should be just starting to turn golden on the edges.
- Take out the tray, and slice the biscotti all the way through, separate them so that they all lie flat or overlap on the tray.
- Turn off the oven. Put the biscotti back into the oven, this time on the lowest shelf. Wait until the oven has cooled completely before removing the biscotti.
- Store in a biscuit tin, and enjoy!