One of friends is super passionate about all things Italian.
In particular, she is of the opinion that Italian biscotti is the best biscuit known to man kind.
Now, a couple of months ago I agreed with her – the crunch of the biscotti coupled with the almond sweetness is quite hard to beat. However, ever since I saw and tried a Sukharyky (the Ukranian biscotti) recipe in Olia Hercules’ new book, Mamushka, I’m not so sure.
So, to settle this once and for all, I made a batch of Sukharyky and gave them to my friend. The result? I got asked to 3 batches of Sukharyky in the space of two weeks!
Recipe (adapted from Olia Hercules’ book, Mamushka):
- 75 grams pecans
- 75 grams walnuts
- 60 grams caster sugar
- 75 grams butter
- 150 grams plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- a pinch of sea salt
- 50 grams dried sultanas (dried apricots also work well!), roughly chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon of milk
- Line a baking tray with baking paper;
- Blitz half the walnuts and half the pecans until a fine crumb forms. Cut the remaining nuts in half – these will be used to decorate the Sukharyky;
- Combine the sugar, egg yolk, butter, blitzed nuts and salt. Mix in the flour and dried fruit and knead briefly – the less you work the biscuits, the better they will come out;
- Flour a work surface and divide your dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a long sausage and flatten the top with the back of a spoon;
- Brush the tops of the dough with milk and firmly place the prepared nuts length ways;
- Transfer the dough to the baking tray and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP AS IT WILL RESULT IN A RUBBERY BISCUIT!
- As the dough chills, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (gas mark 4);
- Bake the dough straight from the fridge for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and slice each roll into 10-12 pieces (I use the gaps between the nuts to gauge where to cut);
- Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius (gas mark 2) and bake the Sukharyky for another 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the Sukharyky inside to dry off;
- Step 9 is crucial in ensuring that the Sukharyky has that distinctive biscotti bite;
- The Sukharyky is ready once cooled
Having tried and tasted this recipe numerous times now, I can honestly say that there is no biscuit in the world that beats Olia’s Sukharyky. This is the perfect tea time (and for me, breakfast) snack!