Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Bizcochos - Renaissance Spanish Biscotti

This recipe is from a book by Diego Granado, "Libro del Arte de Cozina", 1599 trans. by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain
Take twelve eggs, and remove the whites from four of them, and with a little orange-flower water beat them a great deal, and grind a pound of sugar, and cast it in little by little, always beating quickly, and cast in flour, or powdered wheat starch, and beat it with force. Having cast in the said flour, when they see that it is necessary, and very fine, and the dough must remain white, just as for fritters, and then cast it in your pots, and carry them to the oven, and when half-cooked remove them, and dust them with well-ground sugar, and cut them to your taste, and return them to the oven, and let them finish baking a second time: and if they wish when they beat them, cast in as much white wine as an eggshell, it will be good.
My version of the recipe:3 eggs
1 egg white
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp orange flower water
1 tsp wine

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
Beat the eggs, wine and orange flower water till fluffy but not dry. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to beat. Once well blended and dissolved, add 2 cups of flour gradually, continuing to beat. This will make a sticky dough.
Put this into a loaf tin and bake in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes till the loaf is set and firm to the touch but not browned.
Allow to cool. Slice thinly.
Drop the oven temperature to 140 degrees. Lay the slices of cake on oven trays and put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
These strongly resemble modern biscotti minus almonds, and are crisp and light and would be great with coffee.