You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s something that all parents tend to agree on, as children in both countries are encouraged to sit down for a few minutes to store up some energy for the day ahead. It forms an excellent habit that we can take with us into our adult lives.
The spotlight on well-being has grown more intense, making it essential that we add healthy habits to our days, including eating breakfast. Italian breakfast biscuits are a fantastic way of adding some sustenance to our morning cup of coffee ritual.
Biscotti da inzuppare (biscuits for dipping) are an all-time classic. They’re quite easy to make and they’re delicious - especially when you follow our Italian breakfast recipe!
Before you start, make sure you have all the ingredients for this recipe to hand.
Beat the two eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, 100g of sugar and grated orange zest. Mix well, then add the flour, salt, bicarb and baking powder. It’s advisable to stir these ingredients in slowly with a fork.
Most Italian biscuit recipes include either egg or milk. This one has both to give a slightly softer texture. It means you can decide whether to dunk your biscuit or not, because even if you don’t dip it, it won’t be too hard to eat. We recommend adding the milk gradually after you’ve mixed all the other ingredients. You may not need it all - just add enough to prevent the dough from being tough.
Our Italian biscotti recipe is hands-on! It’s time to put the fork to one side and get your hands in the bowl. Continue to mix the ingredients until they become a ball of dough. Because adding the right amount of milk is a balancing act, you can judge at this stage whether your dough is too tough or too sticky.
If the dough feels dry and heavy, add an extra splash of milk and work it with your hands until you get a soft ball of dough. If the dough won’t form a neat ball and sticks to your hands, add a little more flour to the mix.
Before we move on to the next step, we need to prepare the oven. This Italian cookie recipe needs a temperature of 160C to 180C for fan-assisted ovens, or gas mark 4. Line your baking tray with greaseproof paper and set it aside. This is where you need that extra 15g of sugar from the ingredients list. Put it on a plate, ready for you to roll your biscuits in it.
You can decide what size you want your biscuits to be. A 40g to 50g piece of dough makes smaller biscuits, and 70 to 80g will give you larger biscotti. Pull off pieces of dough and use your hands to roll them into balls. Next, roll the balls into logs and roll them in the sugar.
Place your biscuit log on the baking tray and flatten it a little. When adding the other biscotti to the tray, make sure you keep some space between each one. If there’s not enough space between them, they’re likely to spread and join up during baking. Once they’re all laid out on your tray, dust them with icing sugar.
Bake the biscuits in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. The orange zest makes these biscotti particularly fragrant and delicious. As ovens vary, you can check the biscotti to see if they’re light gold in colour and have puffed up - it means they’re ready! Place them on a rack to cool.
Your Italian breakfast cookies are now ready to enjoy. They make an excellent healthy breakfast with your morning coffee but can also be enjoyed as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. Store the rest of the biscuits in an airtight container so you can save some for later.