Biscotti biscuits are an Italian treat that goes down perfectly with a cup of coffee. Although these might not be biscuits that you find in every household, their crispy texture and mild flavor make them incredibly addictive.
You can make most biscuits and cakes in a gluten-free version; however, gluten-free sweet treats have gotten a bad name for themselves as being heavy and unpleasant over the years.
That won’t be the case with these biscuits! This recipe will allow you to make gluten-free biscuits without anyone being able to tell the difference.
Biscotti biscuits first hit the scene in Tuscany, Italy. They are a very thin, twice-baked biscuit that should ideally be dipped in a drink. Vin Santo is the traditional drink of choice. It is a very sweet dessert wine that is otherwise known as the ‘holy wine’.
Of course, you might want to dip your biscotti into tea or coffee instead. In that case, that is absolutely fine, but getting these little crispy delights out during a dinner party will certainly WOW your guests, especially if the drinks are flowing and the cheese board is out!
Gluten-Free Biscotti Recipe
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour of your choice
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup finely chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 medium-sized egg
- Preheat the OvenPreheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to do this before you start preparing and mixing the ingredients to give the oven plenty of time to heat up before baking the biscotti.
- Prepare the Baking TrayLine your baking tray with bleach-free baking paper to prevent the biscuits from sticking to the pan. Baking paper works better than buttering your pan for these particular biscuits, as the butter will change the texture and consistency of the biscuits.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients Pour all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them well; you can do this with a spoon. You want all of the dry ingredients to be mixed together even before you add any wet ingredients.
- Finely Chop Almonds Either purchase ready-chopped almonds or chop them at home with a large, sharp knife. You want the almonds to be about a centimeter wide so that they still have a bit of bite to them when they are in the biscuit.
- Incorporate the Wet Ingredients Whisk the eggs thoroughly and add them and the other wet ingredients to the dry mixture. The dough should look very wet; this is brilliant, so don’t be tempted to dry it out with more flour.
- Kneed With Wet Hands Until SmoothWet your hands with water and knead the dough until it is smooth. Be careful not to over-knead the dough as it will make it very elastic and dense.
- Bake the Loaf for 20 MinutesShape the dough into a long loaf and bake it for 20 minutes. The loaf should be golden on the outside and soft to touch when you take it out of the oven.
- Let it Cool for 10 Minutes and Lower the Oven TemperatureOnce the loaf has cooked for 20 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This gives the loaf time to harden a little ready for slicing. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit as the next bake won’t need to be quite as hot.
- Slice Slice the loaf diagonally so that you get nice long pieces of biscotti that are stick-like. Do this with a sharp ridged knife to avoid breaking the loaf. A thickness of ½ an inch is ideal for these biscuits.
- Bake on Both Sides Until Golden BrownLay the biscuit slices on a lined baking tray and bake them until golden brown. Make sure you turn the biscuits over to get an even golden brown bake on both sides. The biscotti will still be a little soft when you take them out of the oven but don’t worry, they harden as they cool.
Great Biscotti Flavors and Toppings
Classic biscotti is almond flavored, but who says that you can’t mix it up a bit and try new things? After all, modern baking is dynamic and versatile, so throw out the rule book and try making a variation of your favorite traditional snacks. Here are a few examples of non-traditional biscotti flavors you can try:
Pine Nuts and Dried Fruit Biscotti
Adding pine nuts and dried fruit to your biscotti mix isn’t too wild, so go for this option if you want to make traditional (ish) biscotti with a twist.
Anise is a very strong flavor, so be gentle with it and add a nut of your choice to balance the flavor out with the texture. Anise biscotti go brilliantly with hot drinks like tea and coffee, and it sure is a snack with a kick to it.
Chocolate Coated Biscotti
Dipping half of the biscotti into melted chocolate and leaving it to harden not only gives the biscuit a pleasant half-and-half taste, but it looks very aesthetic too. You can sprinkle chopped nuts onto the melted chocolate to give it depth, too, if you like.
Cashew and Orange Biscotti
Is there any dessert that doesn’t taste wonderful with a dash of orange? Use orange zest and cashew nuts to liven up your biscotti biscuits.
Yes, that is right, savory biscotti! Go for a strong cheese such as blue cheese or cheddar when making cheese-flavored biscotti biscuits for the best results.
How to Store Biscotti Biscuits
Biscotti will last for a long time if you store them correctly. Do not refrigerate them as they will lose their crispy dry texture very quickly!
Instead, you should put them in an air-tight container and keep them at room temperature. You will know if the biscotti are stale as their texture will change from crisp and dry to damp and bland.
Challenges When Baking Gluten-Free Treats
Gluten-free baked treats are a little harder to make for many reasons. Whether you are baking bread, cakes, or biscuits, there are a few things that you need to be aware of if you want to avoid making mistakes.
Gluten-Free Can be Heavy
Gluten-free bread and cake can be very heavy and hard to stomach. The trick to avoiding a dense and brick-like loaf of bread or cake is to use more than one type of gluten-free flour.
This will give the base of what you are trying to bake a better structure.
There is nothing worse than a cake that has sunken in the middle. There are lots of reasons that this may have happened, and you may have made more than one gluten-free baking faux-pas in the process.
Things like over mixing, using only one type of gluten-free flour, the oven being too hot, or your bake being simply too big can all lead to sunken sad-looking cakes.
Why isn’t your dough mixture rising? Gluten-free bakes need the help of rising agents to give them the height that you desire. You should also keep in mind that over mixing the mixture will make it denser and therefore could be another reason why your bread, cake, or biscuits aren’t rising.
Too Dry or Crumbly
If your gluten-free treats are very crumbly or dry, it could be down to two things. The first problem could be that you aren’t using enough oil or butter in your mixture, and the second could simply be down to overbaking.
Try tweaking the recipe and cooking times to suit your kitchen appliances; after all, not everyone uses the same ingredients or type of oven, so it is to be expected that the recipe and method may vary.
Take notes every time you try a new recipe to remind yourself what did and didn’t work for you next time.
Are your gluten-free baked goods flavors a little off? This comes down to the type of flour you are using. It may take you some practice to learn which flour you like the taste of for which recipes, which only gives you more of an excuse to bake and indulge!
Types of Gluten-Free Flour
Did you know that there are lots of different types of gluten-free flour to choose from? Here is an overview of some of the most popular gluten-free flour on the market:
Did you know that one cup of almond flour contains 90 almonds? Almond flour is a nutritional alternative for regular flour that is very popular in a variety of baked goods. It is one of the most popular gluten-free flours on the market and one of the easiest to work with too.
Brown Rice Flour
This type of flour is made by grinding brown rice. It is a whole-grain flour that is wonderful for making homemade noodles and for making batter for chicken or fish dishes.
Oat flour is great for people with high blood sugar as it helps lower it naturally and is packed full of antioxidants. It has a very distinct flavor and gives baked goods a slightly nutty flavor. Oat flour will also make cakes and cookies more chewy and crumbly than all-purpose flour.
Corn flour is a great flour to use if you are making gluten-free tortillas, and it can also be combined with other gluten-free flour varieties to make pizza crust. It is a whole-grain flour that contains lots of antioxidants and is thought to be good for strengthening your eye health.
Although corn flour is flour, it is used more as a thickening agent than as flour for baking. You should mix it with other flour varieties if you want to get the best baking results.
Q: What gluten-free flour should I use instead of regular flour?
A: Unless you have your own combination of gluten-free flour that you like to use, it is best to go for an all-purpose gluten-free mix from the supermarket. These mixes can be used in a 1:1 ratio to regular flour in most recipes.
Q: Why is gluten-free baking so hard?
A: Gluten-free baking is a little harder because the dough mixture is denser and often more fragile than dough containing gluten. I have included tips and tricks for getting the perfect gluten-free bake in the article above.
Q: Should I always use baking powder when I’m baking using gluten-free flour?
A: Yes, you should always use two teaspoons of baking powder in every cup of gluten-free flour.
Q: What is the biggest nutritional difference between gluten-free flour and regular flour?
A: Gluten-free flour generally has a higher fiber and protein content than all-purpose white flour.
Gluten-free flour is great for people with gluten allergies as it allows them to indulge in their favorite baked goods without suffering from uncomfortable and often dangerous side effects.
Q: How do I know when my gluten-free baked goods are cooked?
A: Gluten-free baked goods will brown much faster than baked goods containing gluten, but they will also take longer to bake through, which can be confusing for some. Baking your gluten-free treats on a lower than usual heat and baking them for an extended period of time will ensure they cook through.
Check up on your gluten-free bakes now and then to ensure they don’t burn or dry out.
Q: What is the lowest carb gluten-free flour?
A: Nut flour contains the lowest amount of carbohydrates and the highest amount of protein. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, opting for nut flours will benefit you.
Q: Does using gluten-free flour in your cookies make them dry?
A: Gluten-free flour often makes cookies and cakes dry, but that can be avoided by mixing a few different types of gluten-free flour together in your recipe.
Q: How can I stop my gluten-free cake from drying out?
A: Using plenty of oil or butter in your gluten-free batter mix will prevent your baked goods from drying out and becoming crumbly. This is particularly important if you are making vegan cakes as they have a tendency to be dry and crumbly.
Q: Should I sift gluten-free flour?
A: Yes, sifting flour is a very important step regardless of the type of flour you are using.
Gluten-free flour tends to be clumpier than all-purpose flour, so sifting it all the more important when baking using gluten-free flour.
Do you feel like a gluten-free baking expert yet? If you have any more tips and tricks for making gluten-free biscotti, please share them with me in the comments section below!
Remember, baking with gluten-free flour is all about trial and error, so it is important to enjoy the process. Happy baking!