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Aged Gouda and Walnut Biscotti

Aged Gouda and Walnut Biscotti
Yields 4
This is where cookie meets cracker. The texture of these yeast-leavened biscotti is firm and crunchy like a cookie, but the flavor is decidedly cheesy and savory.
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Ingredients
  1. 2¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active-dry yeast
  2. ½ cup warm water
  3. 2¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ⅓ cup plus
  7. 1 tablespoon warm water
  8. 1¾ cups shredded aged gouda
  9. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  10. ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the yeast and ½ cup warm water in a medium-size bowl, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Set aside 5 minutes until creamy.
  2. Add ¾ cup flour to the yeast mixture to make a rough, wet dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour to create a sponge.
  3. Combine the remaining 2 cups flour, the sugar, and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the sponge. Add the ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water and the gouda, butter, and walnuts. Mix to form a rough dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Invert the mixing bowl over the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour if it’s too sticky to work with, then divide the dough into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 12-inch-long loaf.
  5. Arrange the loaves on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving at least a 2-inch space between the loaves so that they can expand. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the loaves and set them aside for 15 minutes. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet to evenly brown the loaves and bake 15 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 200°F.
  7. Place the loaves on a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut the loaves diagonally into ½-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices, cut side up, on the sheet pan and bake until toasted—about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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