how to determine when biscotti is done

i made craig claiborne's anise hazelnut biscotti for the 2nd time. 1st time it was a bit burned but i was able to scrape the burned parts off and all loved it. the 2nd one, was even worse -- i couldn't even cut it w a perforated knife. the recipe says bake 1 hr. my oven isn't digital but has increments of 25. maybe i went beyond the mark in search of 176 centigrade.

i will check at 45 min.s instead of the 60 the recipe says. maybe smell is a key. i'll try again, but maybe someone has some thoughts. Tx

  • Posted by: alan
  • October 12, 2022


alan October 14, 2022
i'm doing a different recipe. is this the way to place the biscotti for the 2nd part?
alan October 14, 2022
i'm doing a different recipe. is this the way u position them for the 2nd part?
Nancy October 14, 2022
Yes in general.
But the cookies are a bit close together.
If you can manage, spread them out a bit more.
So there would be a bit more air around each and they will bake up crisp.
702551 October 14, 2022
Think about the goal of the second bake here.

Biscotti are a centuries old recipe, created long before the invention of refrigeration, sealable plastic containers, etc.

The second bake serves several purposes.

The first is to crisp up the cookies. Piling them up is not the most effective way in dehumidifying items. This is not specific to this recipe. If you pile up things or cram them together, you will create more steam. A single layer of items is more effective. This is why you don't crowd a bunch of steaks in a small pan or pile them up.

The second is to brown them. Touching each other will brown less at those contact points. The heat will be distributed more evenly to all exposed areas. Again, this is not unique to this recipe.
alan October 14, 2022
thanks. i guess u were able to see the pic. i wasnt.
alan October 14, 2022
so i should have spread them out on 2 pans i guess
702551 October 14, 2022
Yes, a professional bakery or pastry shop would have.

If the people whom you are serving these to don't mind the unevenness, I suppose you don't have to worry about such matters.

A good pastry shop would care about consistency and appearance.

My mom would too but she won't be eating any of your biscotti so you don't need to worry about her... It's something I need to worry about when I bake biscotti.

alan October 14, 2022
i know i should have used 2 pans. Tx
702551 October 12, 2022
The bake times look way off which is curious since you're using a recipe from a reputable source.
alan October 12, 2022
the 1st baking was for 1 hr. that can't b right.
702551 October 12, 2022
Oops, hit submit too early.

I have two biscotti recipes and their bake times are similar.

First recipe (family): 1st bake is 35 min @ 350F. Cool and slice. 2nd bake is 10 min @ 350F.

Second recipe (Great British Baking Show, Paul Hollywood): 1st bake is 20-25 min. @ 170C (no fan)/340F. Cool 5-10 min. & slice. 2nd bake is 5-10 min. @ 170C (no fan)/340F.

Either way, the first bake should result in a "log" that is very lightly colored at most but the dough is fully baked. The second bake contributes most of the color and dries out the biscotti.

Something is terribly wrong if your biscotti are ending up burnt. Don't look at the clock, cook it until it is done.
702551 October 12, 2022
Did you get this Craig Clairborne recipe out of a deadtrees cookbook or was is some unofficially transcribed copy on the Internet?

Paper cookbooks are usually very well proofed especially older ones what have gone through multiple editions/revisions.

For online recipes you are often shooting craps unless you stick with highly reputable sites (NY Times, BBC, Serious Eats, America's Test Kitchen, maybe Gourmet, handful of others).
702551 October 12, 2022
Out of curiosity, I looked for a biscotti recipe in some of my cookbooks and came across one from Chez Panisse Desserts.

1st bake: 25 min. @ 325F. 2nd bake: 10 min. (flipping halfway through bake) @ 325F.

So all three recipes are in the same ballpark both for baking temperature and time. Combined bake time should be somewhere between 35-45 minutes. If you like your biscotti softer, take them out earlier.
alan October 13, 2022
it was from a book. i'm about to do an amaretto one that was great. it's only 20 min. and then 10. so, yes, it's surprising the recipe was so wrong.
Nancy October 12, 2022
Alan - I've made three recipes of biscotti for years and never had a burning problem.
Perhaps bake your biscotti at lower temperatures and shorter durations (usually under 350F and shorter than one hour). Here are details/examples from the three biscotti recipes I use in rotation:
1) Biscotti di Prato (basic almond) are from Lou Seibert Pappas in her excellent book devoted to Biscotti, 1992. First baking is at 300F or 149C, second baking is at 275F or 135C.
2) Double Corn Biscotti (uses cornmeal, corn kernels and Parmesan) and can serve as a snack, with wine, or salad, bake at 325 and 300f (163 and 149C) for 22 and then 60 min. Lost recipe author's name.
3) Mandelbrot (almond for Passover) bake at 350F or 177C, but I only bake them 30 min first time and 10-20 minutes second time.
alan October 12, 2022
thanks. i'll look at my other recipes and decide what to do.
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