Crisp and wonderfully crunchy, these Sourdough Biscotti are delicious and taste delightful with a cup of coffee. These twice-baked cookies are easy to make and are the best excuse to eat dessert for breakfast!
A biscotti and a cup of coffee from the coffee shop was my favorite way to treat myself when I was a poor high school student. I loved the floral flavor of almond extract and the crunchy cookie that completely transformed once dipped in coffee.
Biscotti always felt very special to me, so when I wrote my cookbook, Sourdough Every Day, I knew I needed to include a biscotti recipe. This recipe is based on the Rosewater Cardamom Pistachio Biscotti from my book. Here, I’m using almonds, which is a more traditional add-in for biscotti and are usually a lot less expensive than pistachio. For my original recipe, use the same proportions of pistachio by weight and rosewater instead of almond extract and vanilla.
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What makes biscotti special?
Biscotti are unique in the world of cookies because they are baked twice! First they are baked in loaves and then they are sliced and baked again until completely dry and crisp. This gives them their signature crisp and crunchy texture. This also gets rid of most of the moisture in the cookie so they last longer and are less likely to get moldy. Adding discard, also contributes to this since it adds an element of acidity to these Sourdough Biscotti.
Unlike traditional Italian biscotti, which are very hard and crunchy, these Sourdough Biscotti are light and crisp, which is the way I like to enjoy them. A little bit of ground nuts in the dough helps them stay more tender, so while they are still crisp, you can enjoy them on their own and you won’t break your teeth when you bite into them without dipping them into coffee first.
If you love biscotti, try my recipe for Sourdough Cranberry Orange Biscotti.
Baking with sourdough discard
Sourdough discard adds a great tangy flavor to these biscotti. You can use your discard directly from the fridge. Since you are not using it to make bread, your sourdough starter does not need to be activated or fed for it to work in this recipe. Older discard will have a tangier, more acidic flavor than freshly-fed sourdough starter. Both will work for this recipe, you’ll get a slightly different result but your biscotti will still be delicious!
Love sourdough cookies? Check out my Top 5 Sourdough Cookie Recipes.
Ingredients for Sourdough Biscotti
Almonds - These add texture and flavor to these biscotti. A little bit of ground almonds in the dough are the secret to the crisp but tender texture of these cookies, so your biscotti will be crunchy without breaking your teeth.
All-purpose flour - The protein content of all-purpose flour results in tender and light biscotti. This is quite a sticky dough and flouring your hands will help with shaping.
Baking powder - Main raising agent, it imparts lightness and airiness to these biscotti (do not substitute baking soda)
Salt - Brings out the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
Eggs - Adds richness and helps bind all of the ingredients together.
Granulated sugar - Adds sweetness and structure to these cookies. Substitute organic cane sugar.
Unsalted butter - Imparts flavor and tenderness.
Sourdough Discard - Adds a delicious tang, complimenting the floral flavor of vanilla and almond extract.
Vanilla extract and almond extract - Impart a rich sweet, floral flavor to these biscotti.
How to Make Biscotti
Biscotti need to be baked twice to get their signature airy but crisp texture. First, you’ll need to bake them in the form of logs, then you’ll need to cool them, slice and bake once more.
1. Make the dough
2. Form 2 loaves and bake at 325 for 30 minutes
3. Slice into ½-inch portions and bake at 325 for 10 minutes on each side
4. Cool completely before serving
The sourdough flavor will depend on the unique flavor of your sourdough discard. Discard that’s been kept in the fridge for longer will have built up more acidity and will have a more intense flavor. While discard from a freshly fed starter will have a sweeter, milder flavor.
These biscotti will last up to two weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Baking biscotti twice dries them completely, so they are less likely to get moldy.
Absolutely! Simply use the same proportion of freshly fed sourdough starter in the recipe. Your starter won’t add a strong tangy flavor to your cookies, but will still work.
If you don’t have a starter, but still want to try out this recipe, simply add 28 grams of all-purpose flour and 28 grams of water to your dough. The recipe will still turn out delicious, but you won’t have the tangy flavor of sourdough.
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- 140 grams almonds divided
- 240 grams all-purpose flour
- 8 grams baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 56 grams unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 56 grams sourdough discard
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg white
- Pinch of salt
Click US Customary to view volume measurements
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line one 18 by 13 baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Coarsely chop 112 grams (1 cup) of almonds and set aside.
- Blend dry ingredients: Combine the remaining almonds (28 grams or ¼ cup) and flour in the blender and pulse until nuts are finely ground. Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl, whisk in the baking powder and salt. Set the bowl aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients: Add the eggs into the blender and pulse until doubled in volume and noticeably lighter in volume, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar, butter, sourdough discard, almond extract and vanilla extract.
- Make the dough: Add half of the flour into the blender and process until just fully combined. Transfer the dough into the bowl with the remaining flour and add in the chopped almonds. Stir the mixture with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon until no traces of flour remain. Continue folding until the almonds look evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Shape the loaves: Transfer the dough to the parchment, using a floured bench knife divide it into two even portions. Heavily flour your hands and form the dough into two 8 by 3 inch rectangles (20 by 7 cm) spaced about 4 inches (10 cm apart). Leave enough space for the loaves to spread.
- First bake: Whisk egg white and salt together. Brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the loaves look dry and appear golden.
- Cool then slice: Allow the loaves to cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife cut the loaves on a bias into ½-inch (1.3 cm) slices. Return the slices cut side down to your parchment-lined baking sheet, don’t worry about spacing them out as they won’t spread at this point.
- Second bake: Return the biscotti to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the biscotti and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Your biscotti should look dry, feel crisp and look lightly toasted. Don’t over bake or your biscotti will turn out too tough.
- Cool: Allow the biscotti to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy and store: These cookies are best enjoyed once they have completely cooled, and are even better the next day! Store any leftover biscotti in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
These recipes were developed and tested using grams for precise measurements. To increase your chances of success, I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. I've included rough volume estimates (in tablespoons and cups), but they might not be totally accurate.
Remember all ovens are unique, these recipes were tested in my oven which runs cooler than others. You might need to lower the temperature if your bake appears to be browning too quickly. Monitor your bake closely and make adjustments if needed.