About the Recipe
Biskotchos are the most popular biscuits in the Ottoman Sephardic home. They are slightly sweet, fragrant with fresh orange and topped with cinnamon and sugar. Twisted ropes of dough are shaped into bracelets and twice-baked to ensure their crispness.
They are so addictive to munch on any time of the day. Biskotchos store well in an airtight tin and are a wonderful staple snack to have at hand.
We customarily dunk them in Turkish coffee or any hot beverage. Make some over the weekend, you won’t regret it!
4 eggs 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar 1 cup vegetable or sunflower oil 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
7-8 cups cake flour, sifted 3 heaped tsp baking powder
For the topping: 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar and 2 tsp ground cinnamon, placed in a shallow bowl
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Make the dough: Beat the eggs and sugar in a free-standing electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, until they are fluffy and pale. Over a low speed, beat in the oil and orange juice. Change to a beater attachment and add 3 cups of flour, a cup at a time, with the baking powder. Set the bowl aside, add in the remaining 4-5 cups flour, kneading with your hands, to make a soft but not sticky dough*.
Shape the biskotchos: Break off into 20g (3⁄4oz) pieces and evenly roll each piece into very thin ropes, about 43cm (17in) lengths. Fold each rope in half. Twist the ends in opposite directions, then press the ends gently together to close into a bracelet. Turn the top-side of the biscuit over into caster sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden brown. While the first batch is baking repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Crisp the biskotchos: Pile them on a baking tray and return to the oven, turn off the heat and leave them in the oven to crisp for about 1 hour. Transfer again to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Makes about 80.
*For a crisper biscuit put the dough through a mincer attachment of a free-standing mixer.
Should the biscuits soften in damp weather, crisp in a preheated 150°C (300°F) oven for 10 minutes.