Thursday, October 16, 2008

Magical biscotti

I was home sick one day this week, and had some Amish Friendship sourdough starter that needed to be used up. But, since I wasn't feeling well, I didn't follow the recipe exactly.

I forgot to add the sugar.

Did I mention I wasn't feeling well?

I tried a piece, and it wasn't all that bad. The flavor and texture was OK, but the loaves were a little crumbly and not very sweet. I suppose I could have served it as a savory side bread, but it was kind of bland.

As I looked at the slice of bread, my illness-addled brain realized how closely it resembled biscotti in shape and texture.

Thus, magical biscotti was born.

I whipped around the kitchen to find a baking sheet. Since the bread-cum-biscotti needed something extra, I also made a quick chocolate glaze to drizzle on the finished product. I found some chocolate melts, some butter, some vanilla, and some orange oil, and I was good to go.

While the biscotti were baking, I microwaved the chocolate, then added the other ingredients until the sauce was dark, shiny and smooth.

As the biscotti cooled I went all Jackson Pollack on them.

The finished product looked awesome. They tasted slightly less awesome. The texture was a little off, and they tasted more like pieces of toast than actual biscotti. But I'd gotten my mind of my illness for a couple hours, and I'd discovered a good way to use up leftover quick breads, which are notorious for going stale. I'd call that a win.

Magical biscotti
Obviously, these are nowhere near authentic, and I sincerely hope my dead Italian Grandma will forgive me for this. The recipe works best with sweeter breads, like banana bread, zucchini bread, amish friendship bread. To use savory breads like cheese or herb bread, see the savory variation below.
part of a loaf of quick bread
1/4 cup chocolate chips
chocolate chips
vanilla extract
1 drop orange oil

Preheat oven to 350. Slice quick bread into 1-inch slices. Cut slices in half, lengthwise, so you have roughly a finger-sized slice of bread. Carefully place on baking sheet, making sure the bread does not crumble.

Bake 10-15 minutes. You do not want the biscotti to brown. They will get harder once you remove them from the oven.

While biscotti are baking, Make sauce. Microwave chocolate chips until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Add a tablespoon of butter. Add vanilla and stir. If chocolate gets gritty, add more vanilla until it smooths out. Add one drop of orange oil.

While sauce is warm, drizzle over biscotti. You can also dip one side of biscotti completely into chocolate if you like.

Savory variation
5 minutes before end of baking, sprinkle biscotti with any shredded cheese of your choice--sharp cheddar, Gruyere, freshly grated parmesan, or a mix of cheeses would be great.

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