Monday, September 29, 2014

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Star Anise Biscotti

Tonight my husband got a craving for traditional (meaning full of gluten, sugar, eggs, and butter), old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies, so he baked a batch. While they were cooking, knowing that I couldn't even pick at the crumbs, I started thinking about biscotti.  Mmm, visions of crispy, chewy biscotti dipped in coffee or hot chocolate in our favorite coffee shop back home make my mouth water!

So, after a bit of research (it's hard to find a gluten-free biscotti recipe without eggs), I found this recipe, by the, However, as usual, I don't have the ingredients called for, so I adapted to what I have available.  Here's what I put together:

1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt ( I grind mine in my Magic Bullet with the flat disk)
2 teaspoons psyllium husks
2 teaspoons freshly ground star anise
6 oz. coconut milk -- made with 6 ounces water kefir and about 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes (blend in a blender or magic bullet).  I didn't strain this, but you could if you'd like.
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon filtered water
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F (195*C).

2.  Whisk dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix thoroughly.

3.  I used a flat cast-iron skillet, but you can use whatever sturdy flat pan you'd like.  Spread about 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the pan and then scrape and dump the dough onto it, Using wet hands, shape the dough into a longish oval.  As you can see from this photo, I cut the slices diagonally, which is traditional for biscotti.  However, I got fewer slices than originally suggested and they tended to want to fall apart in the following steps of the recipe.  So, I would suggest cutting them straight across, or making your "loaf" longer and narrower.  My pan is only 10" (25 cm) across, so this limited the length for me.

4.  Using a bread knife, slice the dough into 18-20 slices.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your elevation (I'm at over 8,000 feet, or 2,500 meters), and your oven.

5.  Remove from oven and carefully separate the slices, laying them on their sides.  I needed to use another cast-iron skillet, too, since I ran out of room.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then flip over and bake again for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.

6.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  They will become more crispy as they cool.

7.  Enjoy with your favorite hot beverage!

Notes:  Since I am at elevation, and I like my biscotti to be more golden brown, I ended up toasting them for another 5 minutes in my toaster oven.  This gave them the crunch and flavor that I really miss.  The star anise has a lovely flavor and paired nicely with my hot chocolate this morning.  It also helps to cover the stronger flavor of the amaranth and quinoa flours. recommends placing these in the freezer after the first day, so that they maintain their texture and freshness.  Since I plan to toast these before I eat them, I have no problem with this.  However, they are so good that I don't think that they will last very long.  :-)

Have fun with these, and let me know how they turn out for you.

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