Savory Basil Biscotti

4 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
(Domenica calls for 1 cup of grated aged Asiago cheese and 1 cup of grated pecorino Romano, but I used 2 cups parmesan cheese)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup thinly sliced skin-on almonds (I used finely chopped walnuts) 
3 large eggs lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for brushing the dough (4th egg is optional)
1 cup whole or 2 percent milk (I used skim milk)

1 cup basil, chopped finely

Combine the flour, pepper, baking powder, salt and cheeses in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse briefly. Add the nuts and basil but do not process.

Combine the 3 beaten eggs and the milk in a measuring cup, then add to the food processor bowl, pulsing as you pour. Process just until the egg mixture and nuts are incorporated and the dough begins to form a ball. (This proved to be too much volume for my food processor. I had to switch to the mixer.)

Turn out the dough onto a large piece of wax paper, patting it into a disk. Wrap the disk in the paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. (I baked it without refrigerating it first and it worked just fine.)

Position oven racks in the middle and lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator; if it is very firm let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log about 11 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. Place 2 logs on each baking sheet, spaced at least 1 inch apart. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the tops of the logs with the remaining beaten egg, if using. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom; then bake for 15 minutes so the logs are golden on top and springy to the touch. Use a wide spatula to transfer the logs to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes; keep the baking sheets at hand because they will be used to bake the sliced biscotti.(Wipe the paper or liners clean as needed.)

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Working with one log at a time, place it on a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut crosswise on the diagonal with a slow, sawing motion into 1/3-inch-thick slices, arranging them closely together on the baking sheet as you go. Bake both sheets for 15 minutes (on the middle and lower racks), then rotate them from top to bottom and front to back; bake for 15 minutes, until the biscotti are golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.