Sunday, September 26, 2010


Mark Bittman wrote an article about savory biscotti today, providing a recipe for cheddar and cayenne biscotti. I played with it to make goat cheese and saffron biscotti with olives, to some success. Thinking the goat cheese would be too strong, I reduced it to 3/4 cup (from 1/2 cup of cheddar) and added two tablespoons of butter in the hopes of keeping the moisture up. Sadly, the dough was a little too moist, and in fact the goat cheese flavor was not strong at all. No worries, though: I spread some more cheese on the biscotti and layered on slow-roasted root vegetables and squash, plus some roasted kale. The biscotti aren't bad on their own, per se, but they're not what I'd hoped; as a component of my quasi-crostini, though, they're excellent. I had the dish with a glass of a quite good bottle of $4 Trader Joe's vinho verde.

Hannah's goat cheese and saffron biscotti
**Warning: This is me estimating what the modified proportions should be. I'm not holding myself liable for how this comes out until I test it.**
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups goat cheese
2 eggs (anything smaller than extra-large; I suspect that smaller is better, actually)
pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
chopped olives to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Food process, blend, or stir vigorously the goat cheese, saffron, and eggs until mixture is bright yellow, 1 to 3 minutes. Add the other ingredients and stir or pulse a few times; do not overwork. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together; it might be a little crumbly at first. Shape into a loaf and bake on a nonstick/parchment-papered cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes until the loaf is firm to the touch and beginning to brown. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the bias. Bake on either side for about 15 minutes per to brown and crisp the biscotti.

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