Biscotto di San Antonio

The Biscotto di San’Antonio is a traditional agri-food product (PAC) of Lazio, in particular, of the Tuscia area of Viterbo. It is a sweet bread, shaped into a braid and made according to an ancient recipe passed down orally for generations. Typical of Acquapendente (Viterbo) but also available in the neighbouring villages of Proceno, San Lorenzo Nuovo, Torre Alfina and Onano, it usually weighs about one pound, has a characteristic anise aftertaste perfect for accompanying wine and, thanks to a double rise, stays soft up to 10 days.
In his manuscript, “
Cronache sulla terra di Acquapendente” written in 1588, Paolo Biondo tells of a feast organized by the Confraternity of St. Anthony in honour of the saint, and of the braided biscotto, attributable to the symbolism of the knot and therefore a symbol of fidelity to the Saint.
Ingredients
flour (Type “00”)
4 eggs
900 g. sugar
1 glass of extra virgin olive oil
3 small glasses of marsala
all’uovo
natural yeast
60 g. brewer’s yeast
7 g. aniseed
½ litre milk
1 packet of vanilla
grated lemon or orange peel

Method
Beat the eggs with the sugar, adding the grated lemon or orange peel, the vanilla and the marsala. Dissolve the yeast in warm milk, add flour and knead to form a dough; then incorporate all the previously prepared ingredients. Form the dough into the typical braided “8” shape and place it in a metal pan to rise a second time. Before baking, brush the surface of the
biscotto with the beaten egg; while cooking this gives a light golden brown colour to the cake. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 180 ° C – 200 ° C oven.

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