Prato-Style Cookies (Biscotti)

See the RecipeMartin Schreiber

(Biscotti di Prato) One of the few utterly traditional Italian specialties at Garga is these Tuscan cookies.

Prato-Style Cookies (Biscotti)
One of the few utterly traditional Italian specialties at Garga is these Tuscan cookies.
Yield: makes About 4 Dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 12 cups flour
  • 2 12 cups sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 tsp. salt
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 cup shelled almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Put flour on a clean surface, shape into a mound with your hands, then make a well in the center. Add sugar, 2 of the whole eggs, egg yolk, baking powder, salt, saffron, and 3 tbsp. water to well and beat together with your fingers or a fork. Continue beating, gradually incorporating flour from inside edge of well, until dough comes together (dough will be stiff). Add almonds and knead with both hands until dough is smooth, 1–2 minutes. Quarter dough, roll into 1 12" x 10" logs, and arrange on prepared baking sheet 2" apart.
  3. Beat the remaining whole egg in a small bowl, then brush dough logs with some of it. Transfer dough logs to oven and bake until golden brown on top, about 45 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and use a long metal spatula to transfer dough logs to a cutting board. Carefully cut logs crosswise with a serrated knife (logs will be a bit fragile) into 12"-thick cookies. Return cookies to a baking sheet and arrange, cut side up, in a single layer. Bake cookies until pale brown, 20-25 minutes. Set cookies aside to cool completely before serving. Cookies will keep for up to 1 month in an airtight container.