Savory Parmesan and Fennel Biscotti
these are very tasty with a glass of wine, an ideal thing to have on 
hand when guests might drop by. parmesan cheese gives them depth of 
flavor, and the two peppers adds zing. adjust the level of cayenne to 
your own taste. 
2 cup  flour
1/4 cup  coarse ground yellow cornmeal
1-1/2 tsp  salt
1-1/4 tsp  baking powder
1/2 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp  coarse ground black pepper
pinch  of cayenne
3/4 cup  freshly grated parmesan cheese (2 1/2 oz.)
2 tsp  fennel seed
1/2 cup  pine nuts, chopped
1/2 cup  buttermilk
2 large  eggs, beaten
combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, black 
pepper and cayenne in a medium bowl and whisk it all together. stir in 
the grated cheese, the fennel seed and the chopped pine nuts. 
in a small bowl, beat together the eggs and buttermilk. pour the wet 
mixture into the dry and stir together with a fork until a crumbly 
dough forms. turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead 
it a few turns, just until it is smooth. it may still be slightly 
sticky. form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it 
rest about fifteen minutes. 
divide the dough into three equal parts. take one part at a time, 
keeping the rest of the dough wrapped, and roll it out into a one-inch 
diameter log. it will look too skinny, more like a rope, but don't 
worry. put the logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment, spacing 
them two inches apart, and flatten them just slightly with the palm of 
your hand. 
bake the logs at 375 for twenty minutes, until golden. the tops may 
split as they bake - again, don't worry. let them cool on their baking 
sheet for a few minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack and 
let them cool at least twenty minutes more. meanwhile, lower the oven 
temperature to 225. 
using a very sharp, thin, serrated knife, slice the logs on a 
diagonal, about 1/4 inch thick. arrange the slices on parchment lined 
baking sheets (you will need two), and bake them for 35 minutes. flip 
the biscotti over and bake again for another 35 minutes, or until they 
are dry and crisp. let the biscotti cool completely on racks. 
if you pack these biscotti in airtight tins, they will keep well for 
several weeks, but only if no one knows about them. they are 
makes about 5 dozen. 
(ID: 4944) Mirror: Mon, Nov 15, 2004

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