- Dissolve the yeast in some lukewarm water and add the flour; knead vigorously and make a smooth ball.
- With a small knife, cut a cross on the surface of the dough, cover it with a kitchen cloth and let it rise, until it will double its volume.
- Knead the flour with some melted butter, the sugar, a pinch of salt and the egg white. Add this mixture to the first dough, kneading vigorously for around 15 minutes.
- Divide the mixture into 4 parts tand form some cylinders that you will leave rise for an hour and a half, covered with a kitchen cloth.
- Bake them for 10 minutes at 180°C. Let them rest for 48 hours, after which you will cut them into thin slices (3/4 mm).
- Place them in the oven and let them toast at 160°C, ensuring that they keep a golden colour.
Your baicoli are now ready. They will stay fresh for a very long time either in a tin can or in a glass jar.
Baicoli are a biscuit of ancient origin, tied to the history of Venice as a Maritime Republic. Indeed, sailors forced to travel far from the city for most of the year, could find a taste of home in this hard, long lasting and fish-shaped cookie, which remained fresh so long because it was prepared with just a few genuine ingredients. Their name comes from their peculiar shape: indeed, in Venetian dialect “baicoli” indicates small fishes, such as the seabass and the mullet, with the same elongated, slightly flattened shape that characterizes this cookies. The baicoli recipe didn’t change throughout the centuries, also because any slight change would alter their solidity and therefore their nature. Differently from other Venetian products with a lot of spices, dried fruit and various herbs, the baicoli, thanks to their simplicity, are perfect with a hot chocolate, coffee, eggnog, pudding and sweet wines. The semplicity of the ingredients determine their taste and, despite they might seem a simple dish, the process to prepare them is long and requires two doughs and the following ingredients.