I began thinking of this song as I baked this treat. Whether (in the past) by foot, horse, or (now) by plane, this food travels well.
This month's Avid Bakers Challenge is Orange, Date & Almond Biscotti. We are baking recipes from the Scientifically Sweet website. I have grown up making mandlebread, a very similar type of treat. I thought it would be interesting to see how they might be connected. Good recipes are good recipes, and seem to go across cultures.
It seems, that twice baked cookies became popular for people traveling long distances. They last a long time, and are easy to pack. I became fascinated by the histories of these cookies, after reading about them on Wikipedia.
Biscotti (//; Italian pronunciation: [bisˈkɔtti]; English: twice cooked), is also known as cantuccini (English: coffee bread), are twice-baked cookies (or biscuits) originating in the Italian city of Prato. The biscuits are oblong-shaped almond biscuits, made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven.
"Biscotti" is the plural form of biscotto. The word originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning "twice-cooked/baked." It defined oven baked goods that were baked twice, so they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time.
Such nonperishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars, and twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions.
(I added the italics for emphasis) Click here for more information on biscotti
September 29 is National Biscotti Day.
Mandelbrodt, also known as mandel bread in English-speaking countries and kamishbrot in Ukraine, is a Jewish cookie popular amongst Eastern European Jews. The Yiddish word mandelbrodt literally means almond bread, a reference to its common ingredient of almonds. It is typically formed by baking a loaf which is then cut into small slabs and twice-baked in order to form a crunchy exterior. The cookies were popular in Eastern Europe among rabbis, merchants and other itinerant Jews as a staple dessert that kept well.
Its precise origin is unknown, as is its historic relationship with biscotti, a similar Italian cookie. While mandelbrodt and biscotti both consist of a crunchy exterior, mandelbrodt is slightly softer than biscotti due to its higher oil and/or butter content.
Click here for more information on mandlebread
So both are twice baked, have almonds, travel well, and have oblong shape!
Whether (in the past) by foot, horse, or (now) by plane, this food travels well. My guess is the travelers took their recipes to other parts of the world.
The recipe:You can find the recipe for the Orange, Date & Almond Biscotti at Scientifically Sweet. I made a few changes to the recipe:
1 tsp of almond extract instead of 1/2tsp (I thought I was measuring the vanilla, LOL)
1/2 tsp orange extract, because I had it on hand.
craisins instead of dates, the first time around. We really liked the combo of flavors.
Sliced almonds were what we had on hand, so those were used
I tried cutting them with the knife vertically, when they cooled. It seemed to help with the crumbling, but there was still a lot of crumbling.
Then someone in our group posted a video of her slicing of the biscotti. She used a long, serrated bread knife. It's possible that the type of knife that I used wasn't smooth enough and caused the crumbling.
Then I spoke to someone in my exercise class, who bakes biscotti. She agreed--the knife makes all the difference. So, next time, I'll use a bread slicing knife.
Thank you so much for stopping by!! I hope you will leave a comment.
If you want more information about the Avid Bakers Challenge, Click here