Wheat free Spelt & Anise Biscotti

Tis the season to make biscotti! I’ve been using the same recipe for about 20 years for my winter baking but recently I’ve been trying to eat less wheat. I had looked up several wheat-free recipes online but was a bit flummoxed with up to 4 or 5 different flours in one recipe. Yikes! I decided to just adapt my tried and true recipe to great results! Here’s my new wheat-free biscotti recipe with spelt and rice flour. If you’ve never made these delicious Italian crisp anise biscuits, come along for the ride and see how they’re done. These are simply so much better than the fairly bland fare they serve at Starbucks, you’ll have a hard time going back once you’ve had these scrumptious little morsels.
Mix together dry ingredients:
2 1/4 cups whole spelt flour
3/4 cups white rice flour
3 1/2 teaspoon no-alum baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoon anise seed
Cream together in a large bowl:
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
Mix together in a small bowl:
1/2 cup oil (canola, safflower or sunflower)
3 teaspoons almond essence
Mix together in a small bowl:
1/2 cups slivered almonds
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil and flour the cookie sheet. I used the rice flour to flour the cookie sheet as it’s so fine. This shows halfway through, in case you’ve never dusted baking dishes with flour before. Just sprinkle a small amount in and shake it around to cling to your grease then toss out any excess.
Cream the eggs and sugar well. (Beginners, cream these probably 3 times longer than you think as creaming is not simply mixing together the eggs and sugar but whipping the sugar into suspension. Don’t skimp on the sugar, put it all in).

Mix in the oil and almond essence. Blend well.

There’s my dry ingredients and the almonds and cranberries measured ahead and all ready to go.

Mix in half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Mix wet and dry ingredients just enough to blend together.
Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix together just enough to blend.
Mix in the slivered almonds and dried cranberries. Dough will be very stiff and sticky
Okay, a quick sip of wine (optional) then let’s get these babies in the oven!
Flour hands to keep dough from being so sticky or else dough will be very difficult to handle. Split dough into 2 portions.
Scoop out half the dough and pat out two long loaves gently with well-floured hands. Of course you could make this as one wide loaf too but baking times here are for this size and might need slight adjustment for whole loaf.
Bake at 350 F for 34 minutes. (I have a regular gas stove that is NOT a convection oven.)
Phew, time for another sip of wine then…
…clean up as you go as my husband is always quick to remind me, a very good habit.
Bake 34 minutes or till nice and toasty looking. As biscotti are very brittle and short, lift cookie sheet out carefully so that it does not spring and crack the loaf. Cool carefully on wire rack for 5 minutes.
With a bread knife, carefully slice loaves on a slight diagonal into slices about a half an inch thick. This is a nice medium size. Don’t worry if a few break apart, the chunks can be kept apart and nibbled too but if too many are crumbling apart, give the slicing a gentler hand as crispness/fragility is their feature.
Spread apart the slices so that the most surface area will be exposed. If I did have a convection oven, I would finish baking these off on 2 cookie sheets and lay the biscotti flat for about 6 minutes per side instead of standing them up but this worked well as shown.
Return biscotti to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. This double baking is the key to crisp biscotti.
Cool finished biscotti on wire rack.
Bakes about 48 biscotti this size which is a medium size for biscotti.

Oh, yesss, these are the best wheat-free spelt biscotti I’ve ever tasted!! Once you’ve tried this recipe, try substituting slivered hazelnuts, pistachios or pecans and maybe chocolate chips in place of the dried cranberries but keep the same proportions.

The original recipe called for 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 3 teaspoons baking powder. I upped the baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons and just substituted spelt and rice flour in a 3 spelt to 1 rice ratio. I’ve tried this simple substitution with my tried and true pie crust recipe so maybe shifting from wheat to spelt flour baking is going to be easier than I thought. Sounds great!

Happy holidays!
xxxx Paula

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