Mother Earth Living

Saffron Biscotti Recipe from Pizzetta 211

This saffron biscotti recipe from San Francisco’s Pizzetta 211 restaurant makes for a perfectly civilized way to end a meal.
By James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman and Tara Duggan
December 2012
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The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (Ten Speed Press, 2012) by James and Caitlin Freeman and Tara Duggan is a be-all book on today’s coffee culture. This how-to and why manual will thrill coffee geeks, amateurs and professionals alike with beautiful brew tips and tasty recipes. This saffron biscotti recipe, courtesy of the charming pizza restaurant Pizzetta 211 in San Francisco's Outer Richmond district, is excerpted from the section “Perfect for Dunking”.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee.

Saffron Biscotti Recipe

Makes about 3 dozen biscotti
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
From start to finish: 2 hours, 30 minutes

• About 30 threads saffron (to yield 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron)
• 1 egg, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup almonds
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 egg white

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle until powdery or grind them in a clean spice grinder; alternatively, you can finely mince the saffron. The finer the powder, the more intense the saffron color and flavor in the biscotti.

3. In a small bowl, combine the egg, saffron and sugar and whisk until smooth. Let sit for 10 minutes.

4. Chop the almonds by hand or pulse in a food processor until about half are finely ground and half are roughly chopped.

5. Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the bread hook, mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add the egg mixture and mix on low speed until the flour is moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix until well combined, about 5 minutes, frequently scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the almonds and mix until incorporated.

6. Generously flour a work surface, then turn dough out onto the floured area. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your palms, adding flour only as needed to prevent excessive sticking, about 2 minutes.

7. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Still working on a floured surface, roll each piece into a snakelike rope about 15 inches long. Transfer to the prepared pan, pressing down lightly to flatten slightly.

8. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Lightly brush the egg white over the dough, evenly covering the top and all sides.

9. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until firm to the touch and the egg wash has browned slightly.

10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Lower the oven to 225 degrees and leave door ajar briefly if necessary to bring the temperature down.

11. Transfer one biscotti log to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, carefully slice diagonally into pieces about 1/4 inch thick and about 4 inches long. Place the slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet; they can be packed in tight, with the edges touching. Repeat with the second log.

12. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until completely dried out but without any darkening of color.

13. Let cool completely on the pan before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the biscotti will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Reprinted with permission from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes, by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Buy this book from our store: The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee.


For more recipes from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, read the article Saffron-Vanilla Snickerdoodles.


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