Home-Baked Fette Biscottate Or Zwieback

I’ve been thinking about this for so long, and always postponing, but yesterday it was too ugly to take my little one out (right baby?) so I felt like I finally could bake my favorite breakfast bread, fette biscottate which, I reckon, are the only way to save myself from the energy-dense breakfasts I’ve been having for a while.

Back in Italy, I used to have fette biscottate (or Zwieback, as they call them in US) with a cup of warm caffe-latte or tea in the morning, for as long as I can remember. They were filling and satisfying and light on the calorie-side. After moving abroad, breakfast became a problem. Local versions of fette biscottate, skorpor, were way too sugary and tasted like cinnamon. Not quite the same. The Italian version indeed was only vaguely sweet and had a fragrant but neutral taste that could accompany whatever I felt like spreading on them: honey, or butter, or jam or… nutella! And they were also great alone, preferably dipped into my extra-large cup of warm caffe-latte.

Anyway, not having fette biscottate available led me to switch toward salty types of breakfasts (I just can’t eat cereals), which in the end pumped up the amount of food I eat in a day. In fact, even after a rich American-style breakfast, I will still get hungry at lunch time and end up having three big meals in a day, while Italians only have two: a good lunch and a light dinner. If you want to know more about the Italian meal structure and maybe get some inspiration on how to change your food habits, I found this interesting link.

After some search, I decided this was the best recipe. And as usual I changed a few things here and there.


You need: 500 g all-purpose flour, 75 g sugar, 1 egg, 1 tea-spoon malt extract (or honey), 12 g fresh yeast (or 5 g instant yeast), 210 g water, 4 table-spoon vegetable oil (I used cold-pressed canola), 5 g (1 tea-spoon) salt, 3 table-spoon milk. American measures coming soon.

How To: Step 1. Melt the yeast in the water with the malt extract (or honey) and let rest 5 minutes. Combine the flour with the sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg white (and put the egg yolk aside for later use), the oil, and the yeast mixture. Knead for 20 minutes by machine (or 15 by hand), adding the salt only before the last 5 minutes of kneading. Let rest for 30 minutes covered with plastic foil. Step 2. Form 3 balls and cover again with plastic foil. Let rest for 15 minutes. Step 3. Flatten each ball with a rolling-pin on a floured surface and shape 3 tight rolls. Seal the roll with your fingers and place seamed side down on 3 mini-loaf pans, covered with baking paper. Let rest, covered with plastic foil for 1 to 2 hours in a lightly warm place. Brush with the egg-yolk combined with the milk. Step 4. Bake for 30 minutes at 190 degrees (Celsius) and then lower the temperature to 160, take the loaves out of the forms, and bake for further 15 minutes (they have to look golden brown). Step 5. Let cool covered with a kitchen towel for at least 12 hours (and up to 24 hours, if you wish). Cut into 1 cm wide slices and bake at 160 for about 30 minutes.

CONSIDERATIONS: Don’t they look just like store-bought ones? I am so happy I resolved to do my own fette biscottate, not only because I could not find them in Sweden, but also because, as usual, I could control the ingredients: organic flour and eggs, a little organic sugar, and good quality oil. So when I eat my favo breakfast I can now feel like I am feeding my appetite together with my body. And since home-baked anything tastes oh sooo good, I can even say that I am feeding my… soul.

This is going to YeastSpotting.

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Barbara Elisi

Hi there! I am the "soul" behind Bread & Companatico. My main interest is the preservation of bread tradition and craft, with an eye to health. I hope you are having a good time reading this blog, and please don't be shy to connect with me through comments or emails and do keep on bread-ing! :)
25 replies
  1. Spoon Feast
    Spoon Feast says:

    You really did a great job!
    They look perfect, the color, the texture, I bet they DO taste just as lovely.
    Don’t you love it when things work out well?
    Is a plum cake pan like a mini loaf pan? (I’m guessing by the shape of your finished biscottate)
    Beautiful photos too!

  2. Veronica
    Veronica says:

    I’m totally unfamiliar with this bread! Zwieback does sound familiar but I know I’ve never read a recipe for it or had it before. You taught me something today! It does look very delicious. And I enjoyed reading about the Italian meal structure.

  3. ornella
    ornella says:

    Che meraviglia..poi quella col miele che cola l’addenterei all’istante! Da tempo non acquisto più fette biscottate :-) tutto home made e se mi capita di non avere licoli rinfrescato le preparo sempre con questa ricetta, vengono anzi più friabili delle mie! Per questo ultimamente alla ricetta che seguivo solitamente ho aggiunto l’albume.. Ciao cara buon inizio settimana

  4. cityhippyfarmgirl
    cityhippyfarmgirl says:

    These look wonderful Barbara, and so much for being homemade. I used to like eating these with my cafe latte in Italy… although I have to say I was ALWAYS hungry not long after, and could never last until lunch time :-)

  5. Emma
    Emma says:

    Hi I really want to try this recipe at home but when reading it it says put the rolls on 3 plum cake forms. I’m not really sure what this means could someone please explain this. Thank you.

    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      hi there, thank you for stopping by. that was a mistake lost in translation. just changed it. I meant: 3 mini-loaf pans (you know, those oven forms to bake bread). you can also use bigger ones. just make sure that you fill no more than 1/3 with the dough. please let me know about the outcome!

  6. Gloria
    Gloria says:


    Quando ho letto il tuo articolo ne sono rimasta veramente stupita! Vivendo in Svezia ho gli stessi problemi con la colazione.. Ero felicemente abituata a mangiare sempre fette biscottate alla mattina, ma qui nn le ho mai trovate. Ho cercato delle soluzioni non troppo caloriche ma anche le slices di pane che loro mangiano sono diverse e con gusti veramente forti.
    Per caso te sei riuscita a trovarle da qualche parte? In caso non riuscissi sempre a farle in casa seguendo la tua ricetta, cosa si potrebbe mangiare con lo stesso apporto calorico?

    Grazie per la tua attenzione,

    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      ciao Gloria, piacere di conoscerti! qui puoi trovare delle fette biscottate (skorpor) della Brandt che sono piuttosto simili alle nostre ma piu’ dolci, quindi un pochino piu’ caloriche. comunque hanno l’11% di zuccheri non cosi’ alto come certi cereali per la prima colazione. se le fai tu comunque ti consiglio di raddoppiare le dosi e di usare anche un po’ di farina integrale (uno di questi giorni postero’ la ricetta ma di base basta aggiungere un pochino di acuqa se usi anche farina integrale). si conservano un mese senza problemi in una scatola ben chiusa. fammi sapere se questi suggerimenti ti sono stati utili. un bacio


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] just make 20 of these cakes…problem solved. If you would rather make your own zwieback, this recipe sounds very good. Regardless of how and where you get your zwieback toast, you definitely should. […]

  2. […] ver la foto de este pan en foodgawker y volverme loca, lo tenía que hacer en breve, vamos, para ayer, jeje. Además pude […]

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