Julie Andrews can have her cream-coloured ponies and whiskers on kittens. My personal list of favourite things largely feature comestibles. Cake crusts, warm oatmeal with dried cranberries, and breakfast.
Having breakfast is like pressing the Start button to my day. Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible to eliminate lunch and dinner altogether and just stick to breakfast three times a day. That way, if you happen to be stuck in the middle of a particularly bad day, you could potentially ‘reboot’ your day by having breakfast again – a theory I’ve yet to truly test out, even though I have been known to eat cereal for dinner, in another (student) life.
On days-off when I get to indulge in late and long breakfasts, my day will typically begin with a yawn and a stretch as feet finally hit the ground. It continues as a slow shuffle across the tiled kitchen floor and concludes with emptied mugs of tea and a plate of crunchy toast crumbs.
Even in the past when I’ve had to get up at 3 or 4am to get to work, I’d attempt to keep the breakfast dream alive by legging it to the station with a stash of warm toast in hand, to sleepily nibble at on the train platform.
So it’s no surprise that the idea of a breakfast themed biscotti really appealed to me. Alice Medrich’s version is chock full of oats, very light on added sugar and perfect to have on the go. I recently cracked open my copy of Alice Medrich’s latest book to bake from and have been truly loving the results. You’ll definitely be seeing more Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy inspired posts in the near future!
Breakfast Biscotti :
(from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich)
85g plain flour
85g whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
100 – 130g brown sugar
130g rolled oats
60g melted unsalted butter (or safflower or canola oil)
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
100g walnut pieces
70g dried currants [For the walnuts and currants, I used a combination of sunflower seeds and dried cranberries]
1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
Preheat the oven to 160’C. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar and oats. Heat the milk and butter in a small pot or microwave-safe bowl until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Combine the hot milk with the oat mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the nuts and currants. The batter will be very thick and sticky.
Scrape the batter onto the prepared pan. Spread it to form a 5 x 12 inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until firm and starting to colour around the bottom edges. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pan on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Leave the oven on, turning it down to 150’C.
Transfer the loaf carefully to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer the slices to an unlined baking sheet, standing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes to toast without overbrowning, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Set the pan on a rack. Cool the biscotti completely before wrapping or storing.