Snacks are always needed and snacks with a healthy twist are difficult to find. Don’t get me wrong the snack market is huge, however, whenever you reach for a ready-made snack, it tends to be with a guilty conscience. It’s either loaded with a little too much salt, refined sugar or something that in this week’s press is quoting as bad for you.
On a recent visit, my friend stayed with her parents in Crete and brought us back a packet of these little crispbreads. We had them in her office’s communal picnic tabled area. It is amazing how 45 minutes can make a world of difference to your week when you sit and catch up with amazing friends and nibble on snacks you wouldn’t ordinarily have. The crispbreads were delicious. They had dried fruit, a hint of rosemary and parmesan cheese. They aren’t found in the UK so my friend asked if I would try and come up with a recipe for us to be able to recreate them at home.
Toying with the idea of an enriched brioche dough made me think if I did develop the recipe who would want to prove dough and then dry out the biscotti to crisp them up, the recipe would take hours. So my mind went to Irish soda bread, no proving, no eggs and delicious with the addition of all the fruit and nuts that the crispbreads contained.
Truth be told I’m not a raisin or sweet berries in bread fan. I can eat a few dried berries plain but added to any bread or dessert I don’t enjoy them. This combination changed my mind, they add something and each ingredient although in close proximity to the next, gels into a wonderful healthy soft and crunchy harmonious mix.
These were designed to be eaten as a snack, or to accompany an elegant cheese board, and here are a few more ideas of what to do with the savoury biscotti:
Wrapped up and given as an elegant edible gift
Part of a snack or lunch box treat
Made as a loaf and enjoyed fresh with a cup of tea
Part of a grazing table
Delicious served as an alternative to croutons in a salad
Elevates your cheeseboard
Use as a snack bread
The picture shows my friend Qian who prepared the snack bread with smoked salmon cream cheese and cucumber.
- 1 cup organic whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup organic plain flour
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup mixed nuts and berries * I used Waitrose Seed, Berry & Goji Mix which contains pumpkin seeds, goji berries, sunflower seeds, pine kernels, cranberries and blueberries
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup pecorino cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 160°C
- Assemble and weigh all the ingredients before you start mixing.
- In a mixer or a bowl with a beater add both flours and beat with the K beater until mixed. Or if you are making the biscotti by hand using a whisk to mix the two flours together.
- Add the baking soda and salt, followed by the milk, yoghurt and honey.
- Beat on the lowest setting until just incorporated.
- Or stir together with a wooden spoon
- Add the seeds, raisins, rosemary and cheese and mix until just blended.
- The batter will be very thin and look runny, don't worry.
- Pour the batter into loaf pans or a baking sheet 30x20x4cm, line with greaseproof paper and sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the biscotti has risen, browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow the mixture to rest in the tin for 10 minutes then, lifting the greaseproof paper move the biscotti onto a wire rack.
- When the biscotti have cooled, wrap in the greaseproof paper and cover with cling wrap.
- Allow the biscotti to sit in the fridge overnight.
- The next day the mixture will cut into thin slices, use a serrated knife.
- In a single layer add the slices or squares onto baking sheets and dry in a cool oven around 120 degrees C until the biscotti crisps. Depending on how thick you have cut them you may find that you need to turn them over after 30 minutes.
- They take anywhere up to an hour to dry.
- Store in a tin and enjoy.
Cheese use a hard cheese of your choice.
80 small squares 5cm x 5cm or +-35 long biscotti