[PLACE] FLORENCE | ITALY | Cantuccini (Hard Biscuits)

Touring travellers arriving in the grand railway hall of the Santa Maria Novella in Florence are always surprised by the quality of these Tuscan biscuits, especially those made with almonds.

What is more remarkable is their providence. Artisan biscuit making has been making a comeback with the emergence of cottage bakeries and patissiers, and these biscuits are among the best from this industry.

It is a skill easily achieved with practice, and the results can be mouth watering.

Getting the balance between dry and wet ingredients is the key, and that depends on the quality of the flours, whether chestnut, rye or wheat.

These Tuscan biscuits are so good you’ll want to visit to see if your version is as good as those produced by the region’s biscotti di Prato experts.

225g flour
125g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 orange, zest
2 eggs
75g pistachios/chocolate pieces/almonds

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Mix eggs with sugar, add orange zest, baking powder, flour and pistachios or chocolate. Knead for five minutes.

Roll into a large evenly shaped sausage, the length of the baking tray, roughly 6cm wide.

Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray, flatten a little, bake for 25 minutes (35 minutes for chocolate), until pale golden.

Cool for 15 minutes or longer if necessary.

Reduce temperature to 140°C.

Cut into 2cm slices, place back on paper in tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the colour has turned to a golden brown.


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