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Cookies without Nuts
Baicoli (Biscotti, with yeast, butter and egg white)
Originated from: Venice, Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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For 36 (or so) baicoli

2 1/2 cups flour
1 packet traditional active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, beaten stiff


Follow packet instructions for activating the yeast.

Mix flour, salt and sugar.

Add yeast, milk, butter and beaten egg white.

Work into a thick dough. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into three portions.

Shape the dough into balls and place them in three different containers.

Cover the containers with towels and let the dough rest in a warm room for about six hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled in size shape each ball into a cylinder about 12 inches long by 2 inches wide.

Place the cylinders on greased cookie sheets three or four inches apart (or better yet place them on aluminum cookie sheets that have been lined with silicon baking mats).

Bake in a 350 F degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cylinders are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly for at least two or to three hours (Ideally, the cylinders should be covered with clean linen cloths and be left alone for 2 days!).

After the cylinders have thoroughly cooled, cut the cylinders into very thin slices (about 1/8 of an inch thick).

Line the slices in greased cookie sheets (Or better yet place them an aluminum cookie sheets that have been lined with silicon baking mats) and bake the baicoli in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until they are golden on both sides.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve with coffee (Good for dunking as these cookies are very hard) or with wine.


Despite the fact that "baicoli" look incredibly ordinary they have an extraordinary taste. They may look like (actually, they should look like) a round-shaped version of Melba toast, but they shouldn't taste at all like this factory-made diet food. These plain Janes of the cookie world, if they come out well, are surprisingly delicious. Apparently the recipe for "baicoli" was already known the 7th century. Of course, back then, these Venetian cookies were only served on festive occasions. Nowadays, any excuse is a good excuse to enjoy them.

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