Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …

BBB – Biscotti Picanti (Sicilian Spicy Rusks) – 4th Anniversary!


I enjoy people.  Does that surprise you?  I think most of the bloggers I enjoy reading, enjoy people.  People and food 😉 we enjoy.  I enjoy lots of people, lots of bloggers.  Sometimes we all run off into a corner all by ourselves.  Alone time, it’s good time, refuel time, sometimes.  I enjoy party time, lots of people, it’s connecting fun.  And then there is this small group of crazies who drop in and out of my kitchen, some with more regularity than others but I know I can drop in on them anytime and somebody will be there.  Over this last four years we’ve lost a Babe and added a couple.  We’ve shared that wild wild thing we call life with it’s joys, anxieties, big downs, big ups, tears, belly laughs.  We’ve grown (one less than others) together in all the right ways.

So Lien’s Biscotti Picanti is just the perfect choice of breads to celebrate our 4th Bread Baking Anniversary!  This is an easy and reasonably quickly put together bread that really is an addictive treat.  Don’t think to badly of me for suggesting another addiction for you, will you please.  I really hope you’ll bake along with us this month.  You probably know the routine now:  Be a Buddy by baking, posting by the 28th of this month, send a photo, a short comment and a link to your blog (link not necessary if you don’t have a blog) and Kitchen Of the Month (Lien in this case) will include you in the Buddy Round Up and send you a sharp looking Buddy Badge.  Toast us all Babes and Buddies with a Biscotti Picanti!

UPDATE: I forgot my manners.  A lovely lady, I have many of her books, graciously gave the Babes permission to use her recipe for this bread and I just breezed right by it.  When Lien told us she’d given us permission, I checked out her blog here and was in wonderment!   So I’m back to show you my red face and say I’m sorry.  Thanks for the really fabulous recipe Anissas, wonderful cookbooks, glorious stories about cooking and cultures and a truly inspiring blog!

Biscotti Picanti (Sicilian Spicy Rusks)

Recipe By: Lien adapted from “Savory Baking from the Mediterranean” – Anissa Helou and further adapted by MyKitchenInHalfCups

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 package = 7 grams)
60 ml warm water
1 ⅔ (± 225 g) cups KA white whole wheat flour (+ extra for kneading and shaping)

1 ⅔ (240 g) cups semolina flour

1/4 cups (25 g) ground aniseed
3 TBsp (28 g) white sesame seeds
2 TBsp ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup + 2 TBsp (150 ml/130 g) extra-virgin olive oil (+ extra for greasing the bowl)
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine
115 ml water

Combine flours, aniseed, sesame seeds, ground flax seeds, yeast (recipe has yeast dissolved in water and added later, I goofed and added it early), salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the olive oil in the well and rub into the flour with your fingertips until well incorporated.Add wine and 175 ml warm water en knead briefly to make a rough ball of dough. Knead this for another 3-5 minutes or so. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead for another 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and let rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered with greased plastic, for 1 hour in a warm place (or until doubled).

Divide the dough in 3 equal pieces and shape each piece into a loaf about 12”( 30 cm) long. Transfer the logs to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and leaving at least 2 inches/5 cm between them so they can expand. Take a dough cutter (or sharp knife) and cut the loaves into 1 inch/2,5 cm thick slices (or if you prefer them thinner in 1″/1 cm slices). The dough cutter smashed the dough down, deflating it.  My sharpest knife had the same result.  Ultimately what worked best for me was using dental floss and cutting all the way through the log; pushing the ends slightly back together again.  Cover with a large plastic box and let the rise for about 45 minutes.Meanwhile preheat the oven to 500ºF/260ºC.

Bake the sliced loaves for 15 minutes, until golden.
Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 175ºF/80ºC. Separate the slices and turn so that they lie flat on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for about 1 hour more, or until golden brown and completely hardened (if not totally hardened, return to the turned off oven to let them dry more).Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
I know I have some big time learning to do here and hope to repair the broken links like to about me soon 😉  patience please.  In the mean time enjoy Spicy Rusks!

Author: MyKitchenInHalfCups

Love baking bread Love travel Bread Baking Babe (group)

15 thoughts on “BBB – Biscotti Picanti (Sicilian Spicy Rusks) – 4th Anniversary!

  1. Now what is that on your biscotti? Something piquante like red pepper jelly and creamcheese? (already drooling…) I am not surprised you like people.. someone somewhere once said to me I’m a people collector and you are an excellent curator!

    • You are so quick and perceptive Karen. It is indeed hot red pepper jelly and cream cheese and it’s really excellent. Actually just as good without the dream cheese … I know because I tried it both ways more than once.

  2. Pingback: blog from OUR kitchen » Pop the cork – we’re making Biscotti Picanti (BBB February 2012)

  3. How did you get your biscotti to be so thin?! And yes. What Karen said: is that cream cheese and red pepper jelly? Did you make the jelly? If so, I neeeeeeed the recipe.

    Happy 4th anniversary! I’m so glad to be part of this merry (mostly) bunch!

  4. I like that they are so thin. Have used dental floss to cut cinnamon roll dough discs but didn’t think of it for these. Next time….
    BTW thanks for the idea of using the pepper jelly. My sister made some for Christmas gifts so I have three kinds of ascending heat. Perfect for the last few biscotti left.
    Also, love your intro. Of course you are a people person who also likes some quiet time and so glad you also enjoy crazies ‘cuz the most interesting people often are a little crazy. Takes one to know. *grin*

  5. Love that yours are so thin. will have to make mine thinner next time too. 🙂
    You a people collector? Now that is a thought that is completely new to me *snicker*
    Love to be baking with you all – and love our secret hideaway (aka BBB blog) too :o)

  6. I sure like that colour from the red wine. On that last picture they do look thin, very nice. Thanks for all those years being our Queen bee (as Astrid puts it). Happy anniversary and many more to come! Hugs

  7. They look perfect….. A glass of red is all that’s needed. Oh, and me there at the table to share. You would share, wouldn’t you? Please?
    Happy Anniversary!!!!

  8. I love how you healthied these up. And dental floss – brilliant!

  9. I tried it with dental floss but it seemed to drag it down more, not sure what I did wrong. I ended up using a serrated knife with a gental sawing motion. It would have been nice to get such thin slices. Good recipe though, the last of them were eaten at a dinner party over the weekend!

    • Somethings just can’t be explained in this universe. Did you put the dental floss under the roll and then pull up and around?
      Regardless, this is a really terrific recipe. Done it once since.

  10. Pingback: Biscotti Picante, The Bodacious Bread Baking Babes turn 4 - Thyme for Cooking, Blog

  11. Pingback: Biscotti Picante, The Bodacious Bread Baking Babes turn 4 - Thyme for Cooking Kitchen

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