Biscotti di Prato Mattei are Italian almond biscuits known in Italy and abroad, and Antonio Mattei cookies factory appears in the most important culinary art texts. What is the recipe of the Biscotti di Prato Mattei? And where do the Biscotti di Prato come from?
BISCOTTI DI PRATO MATTEI ALMOND BISCOTTI RECIPE
The Biscotti di Prato Mattei, which the grandfather of Francesco Pandolfini (one of the four brothers who today leads the Biscottificio Mattei) called biscottini (little biscuits), are Italian biscuits known and appreciated in Italy and abroad. They are sometimes improperly called Cantuccini or Cantucci of Prato. Let’s see what their recipe is!
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Biscotti di Prato Mattei almond biscotti ingredients
There are five ingredients for the Prato Mattei Biscotti recipe:
- Wheat flour
- Unpeeled almonds
- Pine nuts
They contain neither butter nor other added fats
Marco Ferri, La vera storia...(see Sources)
Biscotti di Prato Mattei almond biscotti preparation
Let’s see how the Biscotti di Prato Mattei are prepared.
The ingredients are worked for a few minutes in the kneader, and the dough is then divided into parts.
Each part is given the shape of a long loaf about fifty cm long, and the loaves are placed in trays and “brushed" on the surface with the egg.
At this point, the loaves are cooked in a ventilated oven for twenty minutes. Properly it is not about bis-cooked, since baking in the oven is only one.
Once cooked, the loaves are left to cool and then cut transversely.
Here are the Biscotti di Prato Mattei!
BISCOTTI DI PRATO MATTEI AND THE TRADITION OF ITALIAN ALMOND BISCUITS
Biscotti di Prato Mattei are a version of the Biscotti di Prato that has been very successful.
As we said, Biscotti di Prato are sometimes (quite often!) confused with Cantucci or called Cantucci di Prato. Actually, Cantucci do not contain almonds, and the proper name for the almond biscuits is Biscotti di Prato.
The tradition of biscuits with almonds comes from afar.
Bischotelli with almonds, cooked twice, were prepared perhaps even before the sixteenth century and, among the papers of Amadio Baldanzi from Prato, we find a recipe for biscuits with almonds that he calls Biscottini alla Genovese, Biscuits in the style of Genova.
Today the Biscotti di Prato are often confused with Cantucci, and it happens that the terms mix with each other in the expression Cantucci di Prato.
In addition, there are new versions of Biscotti di Prato, such as chocolate or soft.
HOMEMADE BISCOTTI DI PRATO RECIPE
In addition to the Antonio Mattei cookies factory recipe, there are recipes handed down by the families.
Marco Ferri, in the book La vera storia dei cantucci e dei biscotti in Prato, reports a recipe given to him by Mrs Lidia Badiani Puccianti from Prato. Here is the recipe:
- Flour 500 g
- Sugar 350 g
- Almonds 100 g
- Butter 50 g
- Pine nuts 10 g
- Lemon 1
- Half a sachet of yeast
Put the flour on a work surface; add the eggs, the yeast and the sugar. To make the biscuits more flavored, scratch a bit of lemon peel, but without exaggerating because this tends to be felt a little too much once the dough is cooked.
Knead a long time with your hands, until a soft and elastic dough is obtained. Only then add the almonds and pine nuts, still working just enough to distribute them evenly.
Divide the dough into loaves and place them on the baking sheet previously covered by special paper; brush the loaves abundantly with the remaining egg.
Cook the loaves in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees, until the moment they start to brown out externally.
At this point chop the loaves and, after about ten minutes, cut them obliquely with a large sharp knife (giving a clean and decisive cut, so as to be able to cut well even the almonds).
BISCOTTI DI PRATO - SOURCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
Marco Ferri, La vera storia dei cantucci e dei biscotti di Prato, Le Lettere, Firenze 2008
I biscotti di Prato, a cura di Nadia Bastogi e Cinzia Bartolozzi, testi di Cinzia Bartolozzi, Nadia Bastogi, Luca Mori, Giuseppe Rigoli. Foto di Paolo Tosi e Georgios Misirlis, Claudio Martini Editore, Prato 2014
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