Whilst I was in Italy last time, I visited a man who makes these biscuits entirely by hand and sells them in his shop. They are called "Sbreghe": a biscuit typical of the regions of Friuli and Veneto. They are considered the cousins of the Tuscan Cantucci biscuits as they are both made with almonds and have similar recipes.
Their main difference is that Sbreghe resemble slices of bread: they can be thin and tall or thick and thin, depending on the manufacturer. After cooking the dough you need to slice it thinly with a bread knife and then toast the slices quickly under the grill in the oven.
His biscuits were so delicious and I could not stop devouring them! I was fascinated by how thin and perfect he managed to make them just by slicing them one by one. These were really biscuits made with love. His passion and dedication were transpiring in them.
You could never have a biscuit as good as that if it were industrially made. Big industries always end up using cheap ingredients in order to sell cheap and make a profit. Sadly there is also the fact that there is only so much people are prepared to pay for a homemade biscuit especially during times of recession. The alternative is to make it yourself.
So back in the UK I gave it a go and I was quite pleased by how they turned out; next time I will try to slice them thinner, not easy but practice makes perfect.
This is ideal at the end of a meal dipped in a sweet dessert wine like "Vinsanto".
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
Put the flour on your working top. Make a hole and add eggs, sugar, almonds, lemon zest and vanilla extract
Working with your hands combine all the ingredients together making a smooth loaf
Put the dough in a greased baking tin. If you like smaller biscuits you can divide the dough into two and put it into two tins
Cook at 170C for 30 minutes. Wait for the loaf to cool down then slice it with a bread knife into 1/2 cm slices or even thinner if you can
Line the slices on a flat baking tray and grill them quickly on both sides in the oven for no longer than a minute to avoid them burning
Wait for them to cool down then serve with a sweet dessert wine.