I spotted this savoury biscotti recipe in a much-coveted baking book of mine: ‘Home Bakes’ by Carolie de Koster, endorsed by Golden Cloud and published by Lannice Snyman Inc. So it’s just gotta be good. Which it is. There is something I trust implicitly about a book that is sponsored by a large flour milling company, thus entrenched in baking, much like my other favourite South African baking book: ‘The Snowflake Book of baking”
I was very fortunate to receive a jar of smoked chilli flakes on Saturday from a connection who purchased these in the US. I was bowled over by the smell and felt immediately inspired to bake something from which these smokey little flecks could shine.
I took Carolie’s savoury biscotti recipe which has capers and made a few changes.
What you need:
- 100g butter, room temp, soft and cubed
- 350g cake flour (original recipe is 300g, but the dough was way too sticky as the tomato is more watery than dry herbs or capers)
- 7ml baking powder
- 7ml salt
- 1ml black pepper (a good grind)
- 60mll chopped parsley (I used flat-leaf)
- 60ml / about half a chopped tomato (original recipe had 60ml capers which I think would be awesome, but here I wanted the chilli to dominate)
- 2 tsp smoked chilli flakes (you could also use regular flakes)
- 100ml milk
- 50ml olive oil
- 2 eggs
How to make:
- Place all dry ingredients in a food processor and mix together briefly
- Add the butter and blitz until you get a crumb
- Then add the tomato, oil, egg and milk and mix until it comes together in dough (I found it very sticky)
- Empty into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. I did the overnight option
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 c
- Grease or line a baking sheet (did I mention that I love silicone baking sheets or the more affordable black plastic baking sheets, available at Banks – Love, love, love)
- Divide the dough into two and on a lightly floured surface roll then into long rolls about 30cm long
- Place them on the baking sheet about 10cm apart
- Bake for about 3o minutes until they are golden brown and firm
- Reduce the oven temp to 100 c
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit
- Slice about 1cm diagonally * I prefer to use an electric carving knife, it gives a very nice even slice. I use this when making rusks, biscotti and melba toast
- lay the slices flat on a baking tray and return to the cooler oven and bake for a second time for about 45minutes – 1 hour until crisp
- I then turned off the oven and left them there overnight
The Smokey chilli flavour comes through and is not overpowering, if you wanted more kick you could add a bit more. I found these to be not as hard as sweet biscotti, easier on the bite and a friend of mine who tasted them said he picked up the butter.
These would go down well with a bit of fish pate, guacamole or cream cheese and a few drinks.