Biscotti I made turned out dense. How to modify recipe to have crisp, light biscotti?

I followed a Martha Stewart recipe for biscotti. It was minimal, had no butter and pretty easy to follow. At some steps, I modified things (as noted below.) I just want to know why my biscotti didn't turn out light, porous (doesn't soak much chai when dipped) and crisp (it's kind of dense bread-ish)

I'd like to make these again, so any tips would be helpful.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup sugar [Mod: 3/4 cup since I like less sugar]
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted [Mod: used whole almonds since I didn't have slivered ones.]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add almonds and beat until combined. [Mod: used hands to knead dough]

Divide dough in half and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Form each half into a 2 1/2-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-tall log. [Mod: Probably 3/4 to 1 inch tall log] Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack, 20 minutes.

With a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/4-inch slices on the diagonal and arrange, cut side down, on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake until biscotti are crisp and golden, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets and flipping biscotti halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

url: http://www.marthastewart...

  • Posted by: hersh
  • February 20, 2013
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sfmiller February 23, 2013
Modifying the recipe by reducing the sugar probably contributed to the density you dislike. Most biscotti recipes have ratios of flour to sugar (by volume) of about 2 to 1; by cutting back the sugar, you increased the ratio to more than 3 to 1. Sugar tenderizes in baked goods (so does fat, and the only fat in this recipe is in the egg yolks), so by reducing the amount of sugar you get a harder, more bready product.
nutcakes February 22, 2013
I'd try another recipe that is meant to be crisp and light. The only ones I have made are dense and meant to be that way. I like it. Too me the light ones seemed like fake commercial ones compared to real Italian bakeries I had that are dense and meant to be dunked. My fav one to make was a Wolfgang Puck with apricot and pistachio that was very hard and dense. So good. But I think the suggestions sound on track for the result you are looking for. Try an additional egg white or two. Sounds like an experiment.
hersh February 22, 2013
Zombiecupcake, Maedl & Dona. Thank you very much for sharing your views. I should definitely try making them again with more eggs or less flour since that seems like the likely cause. My baking powder was brand new (this is my first bake ever!)

Maedl - yes, please share the recipe and the size of the eggs you use.

Dona - I looked up Alice and found a youtube video. Thanks!
Dona February 21, 2013
I use Alice Medrich's recipe. It's very much like yours but uses 2 cups of flour rather than 2.5 cups. Maybe try reducing the flour?
Maedl February 21, 2013
The recipe I use is very similar to yours and is always a favorite. Mine has slightly more eggs in proportion to the flour, but it has no other liquid. Perhaps you didn't beat the eggs enough, but I usually don't use a mixer either. Is your baking powder too old? I slice mine very thinly, but I never checked to see how close they were to what the recipe suggested. I am happy to share my recipe if you would like it.
ZombieCupcake February 21, 2013
By what I see you need some kind of wet works... Need some thing like oil, butter, milk, yogurt or a mixture of them
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