Savoury biscotti

By Roy Levy, August 1, 2014
Photo: Haraala Hamilton

Photo: Haraala Hamilton

Biscotti means "twicebaked", so while you might not want to dunk one of these in your coffee, it's an accurate description nonetheless. they are delicious served with soups, cheese or salads.

Makes: about 20 biscotti
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: approx 2 hours, 20 mins

Ingredients

● 1 sweet potato (190g peeled weight)
● 75g sun dried tomatoes
● 190g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
● 1 tsp baking powder
● 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
● 1 red onion, grated
● 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only, roughly chopped
● 100g feta, crumbled
● 75g stoned Kalamata olives
● 1 large egg
● 3 tbsp buttermilk
● 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Method

● First, roast the sweet potato.

● Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Wash the sweet potato, dry it well, wrap it tightly in foil and roast for 30–45 minutes until you can push a sharp knife all the way into it with no resistance.

● Unwrap it carefully and leave until cool enough to handle, then cut in half.

● Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl and mash roughly with a fork, then set aside.

● To make the biscotti, mix the flour, baking power and bicarbonate of soda. To the bowl containing the sweet potato, add the grated onion, the rosemary, the feta, the sun dried tomatoes and the olives. Stir mixture well with a fork until everything is combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the sweet potato mixture and toss with your hands so that everything is coated with the flour.

● In a separate bowl, whisk the egg into the buttermilk along with the mustard. Pour the egg mixture onto the sweet potato mix and stir to combine into a rough, loose dough, but don't overwork it.

● Dust a baking sheet with flour and pour the sticky mixture onto it. With floured hands, shape into a flat round of dough, about 7–8cm high. Dust the top with a very sparing amount of flour, and bake for 1¼ hours until cooked through. Cool for 5–10 minutes, leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

● Finally, slice your cooked dough into the "biscotti". With a sharp, serrated knife, cut the loaf into 1cm-thick slices. Lay these evenly on a baking sheet, and put back into the oven until toasty and very crisp, but not totally dried out.

VARIATIONS: The sweet potato can be swapped for butternut squash or just potato, and the cheese can be varied too. Just keep the proportions the same, and you're free to experiment with the flavours as much as you like.

TO MAKE IN ADVANCE:
After the first round in the oven, the whole cooled loaf can be wrapped in cling film and kept in the fridge for a couple of days before slicing and baking for the second time.

Adapted from Gail's Artisan Bakery by Roy Levy with Gail Mejia

    Last updated: 3:45pm, August 1 2014