Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Anise Biscotti (Pan d’Anice) Think Spice… Think Anise

Posted by bakinghistory on November 26, 2008

anise-biscotti-2Delicious and crunchy anise biscotti

anise5logo3As the host of Think Spice… –a monthly event founded by Sunita–for the month of November I chose Anise, and this was the best opportunity to finally feature these wonderful biscotti. Once toasted they turn incredibly crunchy and light, with an intense flavor of anise provided by both anise extract and aniseed. They are also very thin and great to have with tea.The recipe comes from an old Italian professional pastry making manual; it is very simple, without baking powder or any type of fats, just eggs, flour, sugar and anise. I scaled down the original formula which called for over 3 lbs. flour so that it could be easily baked in a home oven—however they are so good it is a pity not to be able to make the full amount.

From the original recipe by Giuseppe Ciocca
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In: “Il Pasticcere e Confettiere Moderno”, 1907—Italy
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Ingredients
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1-1/4 cup, scant, (150 g) AP flour, unbleached
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
5.30 oz (150 g)  eggs weighed without the shell (about large eggs)
1 large yolk
1 tsp pure anise extract
1 tbsp aniseed
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Preheat oven to 325F (170C), line a rectangular 6×10-inch baking pan  (or one of equivalent volume) with aluminum foil and slightly grease bottom and sides.
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Place some hot water in a bowl and in it put another small bowl containing the eggs (keep the yolk aside for now). Start beating the eggs at high speed and add the sugar little by little. Beat at high speed until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is very light and lukewarm to the touch. Keep beating until the mixture cools and then add the yolk, and finally the anise extract.
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Finally add the flour little by little letting it fall into the egg mixture through a strainer. Once all the flour has been incorporated with a spatula mix in the aniseed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and springing back when pressed with a fingertip.
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Let the cake cool 5 minutes in the pan, and meanwhile lower the oven temperature to 200F. Slice the cake starting at one of the narrow ends, use a good serrated knife to make thin slices (scant 1/4-inch, 0.5 cm), place them on a cookie sheet and let them dry in the oven until crunchy. Make sure the oven temperature is not above 200F, or the cookies will burn at the edges before they are dried through. Let cool on a rack and store airtight.
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P.S. The Roundup of this event will be posted soon

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4 Responses to “Anise Biscotti (Pan d’Anice) Think Spice… Think Anise”

  1. Ivy said

    I was thinking of making some Greek anise cookies for this event but then I wanted to combine it with another event so I made the bread rolls. These sounds great but please tell me why do the eggs have to be beaten in warm water? I never heard of this method before.

  2. Simona said

    I can imagine the lovely smell in the kitchen while those biscotti are baking!

  3. Aparna said

    Anise flavoured biscotti would pair well with coffee too, I think.
    I enjoy biscotti but haven’t been too successful making them though I’m getting better at them.
    They seem to crumble when I’m cutting them!

  4. [...] -My own entry were some  traditional Italian Anise Biscotti [...]

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