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Gluten-Free Savoury Biscotti – the perfect cracker for Cheese Boards
These gluten-free savoury biscotti crackers are full of crunchy nuts, seeds and dried fruit. The flavour is sweet and salty but leaning more towards the savoury side, perfect to accompany soft cheese, pate, relishes or dips.
In general, biscotti are Italian sweet almond biscuits that originate from the Tuscan city of Prato. They are classically twice-baked, oblong shaped, dry and crunchy, precisely what these savoury biscotti are like, except, you guessed it, on the savoury side in flavour!
My year-long search for the perfect cracker for cheese boards
If you have been searching in the stores for some interesting savoury crackers to accompany a cheese or grazing board, then you most probably feel the same way I do – disappointed with the choices available and gasping at the crazy high prices displayed!
My favourite style of cracker is with loads of nuts, seeds and occasionally some dried fruit added. In Vienna, I only found one supermarket that sells anything close to this, so after doing the maths and some research, I worked out that making my very own gluten-free savoury biscotti recipe would make sense. Besides the cost and unavailability, most store-bought crackers tend to have high salt, sugar and most concerning, preservative content anyway, so making this recipe feels good!
How to cut the biscotti thinly
The key is to cut the biscotti into semi-thin slices. This texture is crisp and sturdy enough to hold cheese slices or dunk into dips without breaking apart like most gluten-free crackers. It is also easy to eat without cracking a tooth!
To cut the biscotti thinly, there are two baking stages done when making the classic biscotti. The first stage is to bake the mini loaves. Once thoroughly cooled, they are frozen for about an hour. This frozen state makes it easy to slice thinly lengthways using a sharp or serrated knife. The sliced biscotti are placed on a lined baking tray and baked once again.
Seems like a lot of work, but it really isn’t, as the first stage of baking can be done well ahead of time. When you are ready for the second stage, simply slice and bake them into golden delicious savoury biscotti.
Storing savoury biscotti
To keep the biscotti crisp, they need an airtight tin. Allow the biscotti to cool completely before storing them. Based on my experience, biscotti hate plastic containers even if they are airtight. My biscotti remains perfect for a week, even during warm weather.
Gluten-Free Savoury Biscotti
- 35 g rice flour
- 35 g tapioca flour
- 25 g brown rice flour
- 1 tbsp cornflour Known as cornflour in the UK and corn or maize starch in the USA
- 1/2 tbsp potato starch
- 1½ tbsp brown or coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp or, psyllium husk powder
- 1 tsp or, flaxseed (soaked in some of the milk*)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 250 ml milk* or almond milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 8 dried dates, sliced coarsely (soaked in some warm water for 5 mins)
- 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 20 almonds, skins removed and sliced, toasted
- 4 tbsp pistachio nuts, shelled and left whole
- Oil for brushing the loaf tray
- Tapioca flour for dusting the tray
First baking stage:
- Spray or brush the mini loaf tins with some oil and dust with flour. Tap out any excess flour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, sugar, xanthan gum or alternative binders, bicarb. of soda, salt, black pepper, onion powder and cinnamon.
- Add the milk and egg. Mix in well.
- Add the drained sliced dates, seeds and nuts. Mix well.
- Fill the tins ¾ full, spreading the top out evenly. If there is an odd loaf tin spare, fill this with some water to evenly bake the biscotti.
- Bake for 35 mins. Don't worry if the biscotti loaves appear dark, this is the colour of the dried fruit coming through in the baked loaves.
- Allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 mins before removing them to a wire rack to cool down completely.
- Return the loaves back to the mini loaf tray and cover them with plastic. Place them in the freezer for one hour or until they are frozen solid. The loaves can be frozen at this stage for up to 3 months – remove the loaves from the tray and store them in a freezer-safe container.
Second baking stage:
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
- Remove the loaves from the freezer and one by one place them on a chopping board to slice.
- Using either a sharp large or serrated knife, carefully slice lengthways each loaf as thinly as possible.
- Lay the biscotti out snuggly onto a lined baking tray and bake them for 15 mins.
- Flip the biscotti over and bake them for a further 10 mins. Keep an eye on the biscotti during this final baking stage to make sure they don’t burn. They should feel hard to the touch.
- Allow to cool completely before storing them in an airtight tin. Based on my experience, biscotti hate plastic containers even if they are airtight.
- Keeps for one week in an airtight tin at room temperature.
- Suitable to freeze after the first baking stage.
- Unsuitable to freeze after the second baking stage, unless you crisp them up in the oven again.
Double the recipe and keep some extra loaves in the freezer for another occasion. All that’s left to do is crisp them up in the oven right before serving.