Here’s one for you, my English reading visitors. How would you translate fette biscottate? I hear someone says rusks, others Melba toasts, although I am pretty sure none of them fits for the purpose. You simply don’t eat them, and they may as well be an Italian tradition, one that certainly comes from the times when we were poor(er) and we toasted stale bread to make it edible for another while.
With time it evolved into a typical breakfast food, spread with jam, honey or whatever you like. If you happen to be pregnant and have morning sickness, this works too, apparently.
Whatever the name, it is halfway between simple bread and a brioche bread, and in this dairy free version it is good for everyone. If you don’t like having it too toasted and crispy, you can skip the last passage, and simply toast it every morning. In that case, it’s not fette biscottate anymore… but that’s another story!
500 gr semi refined flour
225 gr water
75 gr caster sugar
5 gr salt
12 gr fresh brewer’s yeast
4 spoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon barley malt
vegetable milk (or normal milk if you like)
1 egg (separate whites from yolk)
First thing dissolve the yeast and the malt into 200 gr water (keep the remaining 25 gr for later). Let it rest for 5 minutes.
Put the flour, the sugar, the oil, the egg white in a bowl (you can use the kneading machine, it’s much easier) , mix it together and the add the water with the yeast. Keep on kneading for a few minutes, then add salt, and keep on kneading.
If the dough is too dry add the 25 gr water you left behind.
After about 15 minutes the dough should be soft and smooth, with no lumps.
Let it rest for about 30 minutes, then form three balls and let them rest for 15 minutes.
After that put the dough into a pound cake baking tray covered with parchment paper. Brush the surface with the egg yolk to which you must add some two or three tablespoons of milk (or plant milk). Let it raise for one hour covered with plastic wrap.
After one hour, take off the wrap, brush again with the egg yolk/milk mixture and put into a pre heated oven at 200 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes. Please check it doesn’t get too dark on the surface. if it does, simply cover it with aluminium foil, and continue the baking.
After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 180 degrees and finish the baking (it’s going to take another 15 minutes).
Let it cool before removing from the baking tray, then let it dry well for about 12 hours.
After 12 hours you can cut the bread in slices, about 1 cm thick, lay them on the baking tray covered with parchment paper and toast them in the oven for 1 hour at 140 degrees. Turn them after 30 minutes.
Let them cool before tasting.