Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough Biscotti with Orange and Cinnamon

Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough Biscotti with Orange and CinnamonChristmas Cookie Post Numero Dos!

I’ve only ever made one kind of biscotti before: white chocolate cranberry almond, which I make every year from Christmas. The Sourdough Surprises project this month was sourdough cookies, so I decided to try the suggested sourdough biscotti recipe and ended up with these dark chocolate, hazelnut, orange, and cinnamon lovelies.

The final product tasted really good, but I would say that making biscotti out of sourdough starter is more of a novelty than a practical way to go about doing it. It requires creating a 50%-hydration starter, which isn’t complicated, but just means one more step in the process, and the resulting dough was so stiff and hard to knead that I thought my mixer was going to overheat and explode. It’s definitely easier to make biscotti the regular way, ie: with a cookie-like dough, and I will definitely try this flavour profile using that method in the future.

That said, it’s always fun to find new ways to use my starter, so if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge (with a delicious cookie reward at the end!), try these sourdough biscotti. And check out the Sourdough Surprises blog for more sourdough cookie inspiration!

Chocolate-Hazelnut Sourdough Biscotti with Orange and Cinnamon

Adapted from Wild Yeast. Makes about 2 dozen biscotti.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine:

180 g flour

35 g Dutch process cocoa powder

135 g stiff/50%-hydration starter (instructions to create it are here)

1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

generous 3/4 tsp salt

grated zest of 1 orange

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

Mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined. It might seem crumbly and impossible at first – I had to stop the mixer and get in there to knead with my hands because nothing was mixing together very well, and then it finally came together in a VERY stiff dough.

Continue mixing on low-to-medium speed until you can stretch the dough thinly without it tearing, aka low-medium gluten development (this never happened for me and the biscotti turned out fine).

In 4 or 5 increments, gradually stir in:

150 g brown sugar

Mix for a minute or so between each addition. The sugar should make the dough less stiff and easier to mix, and once it’s all added, you should have something resembling a stiff cookie dough. Switch out the dough hook for the paddle attachment and beat in:

57 g unsalted butter, very soft but not melted

2 oz chocolate, melted and cooled

The dough should be like regular cookie dough now. With a wooden spoon, stir in:

125 g toasted hazelnuts

Spread the dough onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and use your fingers to form it into a log about 15″ long and 3″ wide.

Bake the dough in the preheated 350˚F oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until very firm and slightly cracked on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 250˚F. Slice the log into 1/3″ slices and stand them up on the cookie sheet. Bake in the 250˚F oven for another 40 – 50 minutes, until dry.

Cool on a rack, then drizzle with 3 oz melted chocolate. Store in an airtight container.

This post has been YeastSpotted!


  1. says

    Awesome job, Korena! Your biscotti looks amazing! And yes, converting the starter does take some extra time, but I think the sourdough flavor really deepens the profile, I love it! But then, I’m kind of addicted to sourdough, so… LOL.

    • says

      Maybe I just have a really mildly flavoured starter, but I couldn’t really taste it… The biscotti are good though, don’t get me wrong, and I’ve seen a few other SD biscotti recipes this morning that look more straight forward, so I might give those a try 🙂

  2. says

    Oh wow! They are gorgeous! My dough wasn’t as stiff since I added the sweet potato. I forgot to compensate for the sweet potato by increasing everything else.

  3. says

    I have steadfastly refused to reanimate “Herman” for any recipe no matter how tempting…I even gave part of Herman away to someone who wanted a sourdough starter…Herman and I have maintained a polite distance, he, dehydrated in a vacuum sealed bag and I, happy in my lack of servitude to an exponentially increasing mass of bacterium and fungi… until now…until THIS recipe…Herman is softly calling me and this recipe requires a little frankensteinian reanimation…

  4. says

    Can I just say YUM??? I love the chocolate biscotti and the beautiful chocolate drizzle. And man, that dough did look thick!! But they turned out amazing, so totally worth the extra effort. I love that you bake along with us!! 🙂

  5. says

    I really love the look of these biscotti – chunky, with whole hazelnuts and that luscious thick chocolate drizzle. I know the actual cookies are not as big as those in the pictures, but I wouldn’t mind one of those slices! Awesome!

  6. says

    I’m amazed at the incredible SD cookies you all came up with! These chocolate orange cinnamon hazelnut biscotti look insane!! I am dying to taste them! Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful and amazing holiday!!

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