Grandma Nita’s Fabulous Red Wine Biscotti

2015-08-20
  • Yield : 40 biscotti
  • Servings : 1-40 Italians
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 35m

Grandma Nita tutored my daughter and I on how to bake her Fabulous Red Wine Biscotti.

We learned how to make well in the center of a bowl with flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

We learned how the really great chefs of the world use just a few simple tools like a big old bowl, and a regular old soup spoon.

We learned that mothers have to lead by example.

We learned that daughters have to follow their mothers.

And we learned that Grandma is always right.

By the end of our cooking lesson, we realized we disagreed about the timing of the cookies.

Sophie and Grandma liked them more ‘well-done’. (23-25 minutes.)

Renata liked them more golden colored. (20-22 minutes).

Though we fought and fought, the end of the summer was like Grandma’s biscotti.

Sweet.

And drenched in wine.

Now THAT’S Italian!

Ingredients

  • 4 C. Ceresota plain flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp large granule sea salt--Grandma Nita uses "Aurora Mediterranean Sels de Mer Gros" (Nita says 'Do not use kosher!')
  • 3/4 C. Trader Joe's Fair Trade Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar (plus 1/2 cup more for dunking & dredging.)
  • 1 C. Charles Shaw shiraz (Trader Joe's "Three Buck Chuck") or other strong red wine. (plus 1/2 cup more for dunking & dredging.)
  • 1 C. extra virgin olive oil--Grandma Nita uses "Supremo".

Method

Step 1

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and 3/4 C sugar together with a spoon until blended evenly.

Step 2

Make a well in the center of the bowl so your flour looks like a big old biscotti--an inner tube of delight!

Step 3

Dump your 1 C olive oil in the center of your 'tube'.

Step 4

Dump your 1 C red wine in the center too.

Step 5

You are going to gradually mix the dry ingredients on the outside of the tube, into the wet ingredients on the inside!

Step 6

Grip the bowl with your weak hand.

Step 7

Grip a spoon with your strong hand.

Step 8

In a clockwise motion, scrape the dry ingredients with spoon in your strong hand into the wet center while you turn the bowl with your weaker hand.

Step 9

Scrape & turn, scrape and turn, scrape and turn.

Step 10

About halfway through, start incorporating and mixing the whole mixture together.

Step 11

Mix batch of biscotti batter together until you have a lovely, thick ball of rose colored dough.

Step 12

Time to use your hands!

Step 13

Gently mix with your hands--a bit gentler than kneading.

Step 14

Pour that half cup Turbinado sugar into a small bowl.

Step 15

Pour that other half cup of wine into another small bowl. These are your dunking & dredging bowls!

Step 16

Pinch a 'donut-hole size' amount of dough into your hands and roll into a ball.

Step 17

Roll the ball of dough onto a flour-dusted counter until you get a cigar shaped piece of dough.

Step 18

Turn the ends of the dough together to form a circle, pinching and turning one edge on top the other and ensuring it stays connected.

Step 19

You should now have a nice little tube for dunking and dredging!

Step 20

Dunk each little tube of dough first into your red wine, turning it over lightly.

Step 21

Dunk wine-drenched tube straight into sugar bowl and turn it over to cover and dredge in sugar coating. That coat is gonna taste so good when it hits your tongue after it bakes!

Step 22

Place dressed biscotti tube onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Or a permanent liner like like Grandma Nita's "Silpat" sheet.)

Step 23

Bake in center of 325F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, or a little burned on edges if that's the way you like it!

Step 24

Remember, you are Italian now...so cook 'em the way you like 'em. You are the boss of your own kitchen!

Step 25

If you are unsure if you like your Red Wine Biscotti lightly baked or more brown...eat a whole batch to decide. Then make another batch!

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Meet Renee Gough; writer, food enthusiast..

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