From Latin, the word “biscotti,” meaning twice-cooked, is more dubious than its clear-cut etymology suggests. Inside Italy, it refers to any cookie or cracker — much like the biscuit, its broad British cousin. But elsewhere, biscotti refers to just one cookie — the biscotti di prato, an oblong, twice-baked good, filled with nuts and served with espresso or coffee. This fennel- and fruit-filled riff on the original comes from The Nomad Cookbook (one of the best cookbooks of 2015) by Swiss chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, the Michelin-badged proprietors of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad in New York City. Make a bunch in advance and eat them on your way out the door during hurried mornings. They store in an airtight container for up to a week — though chances are they’ll go much quicker than that.
You know the rule: when baking, measurements are extra important — just a little off and the whole thing crumbles. We’ve kept all measurements in the metric system, as listed in The Nomad Cookbook, which allows for more precision and also makes the recipe easier to scale up. We recommend the Bonavita Electronic Scale ($80) to weigh dry ingredients. If you’re brewing pour-over coffee at home (or plan to in the near future), a scale should already be on your wish list.
Makes 24 pieces
155 grams sugar
2 grams salt
Grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 grams whole fennel seeds
1 gram ground fennel seeds
45 grams butter, melted
40 grams olive oil
200 grams flour
75 grams whole almonds, skin on
75 grams shelled pistachios
40 grams golden raisins
40 grams Thompson raisins
5 grams baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F.
2. Combine the sugar, salt, orange zest, vanilla seeds, and whole and ground fennel seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer. Paddle on low speed for 3 minutes.
3. Add the egg and mix until just combined.
4. Add the melted butter and oil and mix just until emulsified.
5. Add the flour, almonds, pistachios, both kinds of raisins, and baking powder and mix until just incorporated.
6. Turn the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the dough into two loaves, 30 by 15 cm (12 by 6 inches) each.
7. Bake the loaves in the oven until lightly browned around the edges, about 45 minutes.
8. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Turn the oven temperature to 120°C/250°F.
9. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and make crosswise slices 2cm (3/4 inch) thick.
10. Transfer the slices, cut side facing up, to another baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven until hardened, about 25 minutes.
11. Remove the biscotti from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to let cool to room temperature. Reserve the biscotti in a dry, airtight container for up to 1 week.