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Recipe

Spanish Olive Oil Tortas with Orange-Blossom Water and Aniseed

Jennifer Altman

Yield: Yields about 24 crackers

Those Spanish tortas de aceite—crisp, orange-anise-flavored  olive oil crackers handmade in Seville—have become a common sight in many upscale grocery stores. The tortas come individually wrapped in wax paper in sets of six, and are pretty pricey (not to mention addictive). If you want to supply your habit in a thriftier manner, this recipe yields rich, flaky tortas similar those at the grocery store, but they aren’t nearly as greasy or expensive.

Ingredients

  • 7 Tbs. warm (120°F) water
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • Zest of 1 organic orange (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. orange-blossom water
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 6 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. aniseed

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, olive oil, yeast, orange zest, and orange-blossom water.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the olive oil mixture and mix using the dough hook attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes or knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise and relax in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into four equal-size balls. Dust a work surface and a rolling pin (a dowel-type tapered rolling pin works best) with flour and divide one ball of dough into six equal-size balls about the size of an unshelled walnut. Roll out the balls into 3-1/2- to 4-inch rounds, picking up the dough and rotating it a quarter turn after each stroke so that the dough does not stick and the cracker will be an even round(ish) shape. If the dough springs back as you roll, let it rest and start rolling out a second small ball of dough. (As the first ball rests, the gluten will relax and it will be easier to work with.) Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough balls (you will need to bake the crackers in batches).
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and aniseed. Sprinkle a scant 1 tsp. of the sugar mixture over each cracker and tamp down lightly with the bottom of a measuring cup. Prick the crackers all over with a fork or comb and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets once from top to bottom and from back to front. Cool the crackers on racks and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.crackers & dips cookbook

Reviews

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Reviews

  • Lavendel | 10/07/2015

    Promise I will come back on and properly rate after I've actually tried the recipe (this weekend), but I was just so excited to see this recipe, I wanted to send a quick THANKS YOU to Ms. Manning for posting it! Addiction is the perfect word for describing how I feel about these pricey little gems of crispyness, and making my own will help my budget, though not my waistline. I'll be curious to see if I can freeze the results of my efforts.

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