We have family visiting for the next couple of weeks, and I wanted to have some type of savory on hand to enjoy with a glass of wine in the evenings. I wanted something that could be made ahead and stored for at least a week. I found a lovely recipe on epicurious.com. I altered the recipe somewhat-I added fresh chopped rosemary to the dough, and prepared the dough in a food processor, making it much simpler. I love the bite of the pepper and the saltiness of the parmesan, and they will be wonderful with a glass of red wine. And they can be kept in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
UNBAKED BISCOTTI AFTER FORMED INTO LOGS
BAKED BISCOTTI LOGS BEFORE CUTTING INTO SLICES
PARMESAN BLACK-PEPPER BISCOTTI Makes 5-6 dz biscotti
1 1/2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns (or you can use the mix of 3 colors)
4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
4 1/2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (2 1/4 cups) *see note below
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Coursely grind peppercorns either with morter and pestle or in an electric coffee/spice grinder.
In a food processor, pulse until blended the flour, baking powder, salt, 2 cups cheese, and 1 tablespoon ground black pepper. Add the cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk 3 eggs with milk and pour into tube feed, pulsing until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and quarter dough. Using well-floured hands, form each piece into a slightly flattened 12" long log (about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inches high). Transfer logs to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging logs about 3 inches apart.
Whisk remaining egg and brush some over logs, then sprinkle tops of logs evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper. Bake, rotating sheets 180 degrees and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until logs are pale golden and firm, about 30 minutes total. Cool logs to warm on sheets on a rack, about 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Carefully transfer one warm log to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2' thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining logs, transferring slices to sheets. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 40-50 minutes total. Cool biscotti on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.
*I grate my parmesan by pulsing in a food processor with the metal blade. Place the parmesan, which has been broken into chunks, into the processor, then beging by pulsing, until chunks are beginning to break down, then leave turned on until the parmesan is completely grated and no large pieces remain. Much easier than grating by hand!