Whole Grain Biscotti (Whole Wheat Biscotti)
Also see the Advanced Biscotti recipe for variations.
300 F 1st Bake: 45-50 minutes 2nd Bake: 20-25 minutes
This is a double recipe because biscotti last at least 2 weeks, and vanish quickly at picnics and parties, at breakfast (dunked in coffee), for dessert — accompanied by fresh fruit and dipped in sweet vin santo, a dessert wine from Tuscany, an afternoon snack, on hiking and camping trips…
I’ve spent years refining this recipe from the original recipe. I like it better than the other recipes I’ve posted because there’s no oil or butter — the fat comes from nuts, embedded in fiber and full of protein. There’s far less sugar to flour (1:3). In many biscotti recipes it’s 1:1 (before I modified this recipe, it was 1:2)
Equipment: large mixing bowl, bread knife, cutting board, 2 spatulas, 2 baking sheets and silicone mats (or well-oiled and floured baking sheets).
In a large bowl (the larger the better) mix:
4.5 cups Whole grain flour [Note 1]
1.5 cups Sugar [Note 2]
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon, optional
1 tsp Ginger, optional
Beat with fork, make a well in the flour mix above, pour egg mixture into the well, and blend thoroughly (you can use your hands if a spoon is too difficult).
6 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
Let the mixture sit 30 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop 3 cups of nuts. The original recipe called for almonds, but I like to use a mix of almonds, pecans, walnuts, sesame, poppy, sunflower and pepitas seeds.
3 cups Nuts & Seeds
Form the loaves. I add the nuts and seeds at this point since I need to use my hands anyhow to make the loaves, and it’s easier to mix the nuts (and extra ingredients) with your hands.
You can divide the dough into 2 parts and make one long loaf on each baking sheet, or into four parts and have two shorter loaves.
Form the loaves ¾ to 1 ½ inch high (as long as possible on the baking sheet, that will determine the width).
First Bake: 45 to 50 minutes, then remove baking sheets from oven with the 2 spatulas and place the loaf on a cutting board.
Cut into 1/3 to ¾ inch slices with a bread knife.
Quickly and forcefully push the knife down. If you do cut too slowly and carefully the biscotti is more likely to break in half. If the bread knife gets sticky (from melted chocolate or dried fruit), wipe and dry it off.
Put the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet and bake until crisp (about 20 minutes).
NOTE: If the biscotti cool down, they get hard as concrete and very hard to cut. I cut them right away — you can cool them down 5-10 minutes when you take them out of the oven after the first bake, but don’t wait much longer than that!
Second Bake: 20 to 50 minutes
The longer the second bake, the crisper they get and the longer they’ll keep. In the original recipe, the second bake was 35 to 50 minutes — which is way too long in my oven — which is a small convection oven, so my biscotti may bake faster than yours. If the biscotti aren’t as crisp as you’d like after 20 minutes, leave them in longer.
Let the biscotti cool down and store them. They don’t need refrigeration, and keep somewhere between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on how long they baked, what else you added to them, how cool and dry versus hot and humid your house is, etc.
Note 1: whole wheat flour or a mix of whole wheat and other whole grain flours from the store is fine. I mill my own grain with the Family Grain Mill or the Nutrimill with a mixture of grain that ranges 50-70% hard red wheat and 30-50% other grains: amaranth, barley, buckwheat groats, oats, quinoa, rice (brown), rye, spelt, triticale, white wheat, wild rice, etc.
Note 2: You can lower the amount of sugar to 1 cup, perhaps by adding 1 cup of dried fruit to compensate for the lost sweetness (though don’t add too much dried fruit because it makes the biscotti less crunchy, which you may not mind, but some people do).
I’ve also posted the original recipe.