The holidays always seem to sneak up and can be a little stressful. Baking cookies is one way we relax and enjoy baking traditions in our family. These fig and walnut biscotti are part of our Christmas cookie baking almost every year.
I am so excited to start on a new baking adventure…experimenting with Einkorn flour! My dear friend Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen and I have teamed up to experiment with einkorn flour and wheat berries. Have you heard of einkorn? When I first heard about einkorn flour, I was intrigued as it’s completely unhybridized and an ancient form of wheat. It was first cultivated approximately 10,000 years ago and is considered a “relic grain”. The first time I heard about it was a few years ago when I was reading the book Wheat Belly.
Einkorn produces much lower yields than modern hybridized wheat. Interest in einkorn has increased as many of its qualities make it more desirable to use than modern wheat. Einkorn grains, berries and flour are used in various food dishes, such as soups, salads, pasta, sauces, breads, cookies, pancakes and waffles, and einkorn flour may be safer to eat than modern wheats for those that are gluten-sensitive. Here is a little info on what I learned reading about einkorn flour.
Einkorn’s gluten ratio is different than modern wheat. Einkorn should not be used by those that have celiac disease. It does have much less gluten than modern wheat and those that are sensitive to gluten or wheat may find themselves less sensitive to einkorn. I
Einkorn has a different chromosome set than modern wheat. Einkorn has 2 sets of chromosomes This means that some people that can’t tolerate modern-day wheat are able to tolerate einkorn because of its unique chromosome structure. Modern wheat, which has undergone repeated hybridization over the past 50 years, contains 6 sets of chromosomes. Hybridization improves plant yield and health and there is research that indicates it has also introduced genes that have increased the rate of sensitivity and allergy to wheat.
So if you or someone in your family is sensitive to wheat (again, it’s not recommended for people with celiac disease or those who are allergic to wheat or gluten), you could give it a try for a while and see if you notice any differences. I experience mild digestive problems after eating regular wheat and am curious to see how I will feel after eating things made with einkorn flour or berries. I’m also going to be avoiding as much gluten as I can to see if it helps with inflammation issues. Recently a member of our family recently was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance so we will also be seeing how things go using einkorn flour in place of regular flour in some recipes.
Now on to these biscotti!!Biscotti are such a great way to start your day with your cappuccino or relaxing cup of hot tea. Not everyone is a cookie dunker (Italians sure are!), but these biscotti are just the perfect texture to dip in your hot drink on a cold winter’s morning. Did you ever wonder what in the world biscotti means? A quick Italian lesson (for my friends that don’t speak Italian). Biscotto means twice cooked (bis: twice, cotto: cooked, past participle of coucere, ‘to cook’).
You may think that baking biscotti is complicated and even be intimidated to make them since you bake them more than once. It’s really just an extra step to do once the cookie logs have cooled down. They are super simple to put together and you can try so many flavor combos!
About The Einkorn Experiment:
Be sure to check out Heather’s Giant Chocolate Chip Raisin Einkorn Cookies.
some notes on this recipe:
FIG AND WALNUT BISCOTTI
- 2 1/4 cups Einkorn flour or 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
- 4 tbs unsalted melted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dried figs
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, eggs, salt, and vanilla for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick and pale. Add the flour mixture, figs and nuts and stir until all the ingredients are moistened. Einkorn flour results in a stickier dough, take care to not overmix. Let the dough rest a couple of minutes in the mixer bowl.
- Scrape out the dough with a rubber spatula onto a lined cookie sheet (I used a sheet for each log) and divide the dough in half.
- Spray hands with cooking spray; form each piece of dough into a 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Bake until dough is firm but gives slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes.
- Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let logs cool 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Transfer the loaf carefully to a cutting board. Using a long serrated knife, cut each log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place slices, cut side up, on sheet. Bake 7 minutes, flip biscotti, and bake 7 minutes more.
- Set the sheet on a rack to cool completely. May be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.