Sourdough Biscotti

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Biscotti are one of my favourite xmas biscuits. They have the right spices, fruit and nuts for the season, have a nice savoury edge to cut through all the chocolates, can be eaten in a civilised manner with a cup of coffee before you break the booze out… and most of all you can make them days in advance and they keep really well!

I decided this year to try making a sourdough version. Looking at my previous recipe I could see this was going to be a challenge as the only liquid in them were three eggs.

Looking at various sourdough biscotti recipes online (eg Wild Yeast and Korena in the Kitchen) I see they’re all using 50% hydration starters, which has a lot less liquid than my 100% hydration starter.

So for the refresh I’m going to convert to 50% hydration:

  • 100g 100% starter
  • 100g flour
    • 70g strong white
    • 20g strong wholemeal
    • 10g rye
  • 25g water

This gives me 225g of refreshed 50% starter containing 150g flour and 75g liquid. I’ll use this re replace 150g of flour, 1 egg, and 1 tsp of baking powder from the original recipe to give me:

  • 225g 50% starter
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 50g random leftover dried fruit and nuts

This all gets mixed together in the stand mixer, which as before starts out looking impossibly dry… then ends up being a really sticky dough.

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This then sat around for about an hour while I started a couple of sourdoughs off. Then it got divided into four and rolled out into long sausages on baking sheets.

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These sat around some more while I attended to the sourdoughs again before getting baked at 160C fan for 25 minutes.

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These then come out and cool a bit on a rack while the oven goes down to 140C fan. Once the loaves are cool enough to hold they get cut on the bias to form the biscotti shapes.

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These go back in the oven at 140C for 15 minutes, then they all get flipped over before the final 15 minutes.

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Then they cool on the rack to finish drying out.

They smell great, and I’ll probably have a taste later, but most of them are supposed to be shared with the family over the coming week!

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