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The production process

The history of biscuits

According to many, Italy is the birth country of biscuits.
Literally, "biscotto" (biscuit) means "(bread) cooked twice" and it refers originally to toasted breads, which were the precursors of military biscuits, supplied to Roman soldiers before their war campaigns, which had the unique characteristics of being nutritious and long lasting thanks to their lack of humidity.

Small sweets, of different sizes and dimensions, more or less decorated, were part of ancient culinary tradition since ancient times. The recipes of biscuit shapes and ingredients changed more than once over time, until they became the sweets that now find their way to our table at breakfast, during a snack or just when we wish to relax.

Ancient Romans prepared their version of biscuits or small focaccia breads to be offered to the gods or as propitiatory food. Only the meals of rich patricians included also a sweet at the end of the meal, typically dry and hard and very different from our modern concept of "biscuit".


Produzione wafer  Produzione biscotti infanzia

During the Middle Ages biscuits were made using typically "poor" flours (oats, rye and chestnut) sweetened with honey, milk or wine. In the Mediterranean countries common ingredients were shelled fruits (nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios) and later on dried fruit such as dates, raisin and figs.

In the Middle Ages the sweets were, at times, served also between a meal and the other, on occasion of long convivial meals and special occasions.

However, the most ancient biscuits, more similar to the biscuits we know, were created in monasteries. Thanks to the patient work of monks and nuns some of the most traditional recipes for sweets and biscuits were created and perfected and they remained in use until the end of the XIX century; it is from them that many of the most famous confectionery specialties we now enjoy originate.

In the past, biscuits were comfort food for the poor and for pilgrims that knocked at the convent's doors or as food to celebrate special events.

Still in the Middle Ages, biscuits gained many new ingredients among which candied fruit, spices, licorice and must.

The biscuit tradition continued until the eighteenth and nineteenth century, centuries in which the cult of sweets was born at the European courts and later on the first artisan biscuit making shops were founded, masters in the art of revising ancient recipes.

Nineteenth century biscuit making shops were the original precursors of modern factories, which now carry on the impressive heritage of the Italian pastry making industry.


Modern "frollini" (shortbreads) making process 

In order to make a frollino cookie, the steps are the following.



Fase 1 

All the ingredients, liquid and semi-liquid, such as milk, cream, eggs, honey, malt extract, hazelnut paste, and many others are mixed using a mixer.


Fase 4

The dough is transferred to a rotating mold, which is a cylinder of sorts with the hollow shapes of the cookies all around its surface. The dough is mechanically pressed in the mold tile and continuously extracted. This way the uncooked cookies, already shaped as desired, are constantly fed to the conveyor that leads them to the oven.


Fase 2

Meanwhile, in the mixer, all the fatty ingredients (vegetable oils and/or butter) are mixed with sugar and other ingredients such as powder mil, cocoa and starches.


5° fase

The cookies are cooked in a tunnel oven and when they exit they still have humidity that is less than 5%. The biscuit, almost cooked at this time, and still very hot is conveyed from the oven to the packaging machines, from which the finished product originates.

fase 3

The semi-liquid "mix", obtained in stage 1, is mixed with the "cream" obtained in stage 2. Then flour is added until the dough has the consistency desired: the shortbread is lumpy and it crumbles at the touch even if it is high in fats. It appears similar to the shortbread used in homemade crostata cakes.


The History of Crackers

The term "crackers" derives from the English verb "to crackle". Crackers are dry biscuits, crunchy and non-sweet, which can be salted or enriched with spices, oats and flavoring.
Similarly to biscuits, but more recent, crackers were born as "food for trips", especially for sailors. Rumors have it that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an American baker began making salted biscuits of sorts with flour and water, which became popular among Boston sailors since they were easy to preserve during the long months at sea.

Today crackers have generally a layered structure characterized by small holes that avoid the forming of large bubbles on their surface. They are eaten in many occasions, from a snack to an appetizer also because crackers are suitable to be garnished in many ways.

  Produzione crackers

Modern cracker making process

Crackers, in order to reach the perfect crispness and their distinguishing taste, are subject to two stages of natural leavening for 24 hours.



Fase 1

The "sponge" dough is prepared by mixing a portion of raw materials in the special kneading machine. The mix obtained is laid to rest in a leavening cell under controlled temperature and humidity.


4 Fase

Baking takes place in a tunnel oven. When the cracker exits the oven it is very hot, of a beautiful golden color and it has less than 3% humidity.

Fase 2

Once leavening is complete, the additional ingredients are added, until a soft dough is created and it is then moved again to the leavening cell to rest.


5° Fase

Once they exit the oven, crackers are cut using special rollers and sent to the packaging station still warm, in order to become the traditional single-portions (the small packets that we all know) and then the family packages sold at supermarkets.

3° Fase

When even the second leavening is complete, the dough is processed. A first sheet of pastry is formed and it is then layered more than once; thinned until the desired thickness is obtained going through several rolling cylinders and finally molded and cut as desired.



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