Most people in Spain tend to buy their pastries and cakes rather than make them. I was told that the local nunnery was the place to go, so I headed there. The nuns were hidden from view behind a shuttered window, and after a hilarious conversation with one of them I passed my money through a gap in the wall and lo and behold—the most beautiful little cakes and pastries appeared like magic. My favorites were these little tortas de aceite, or olive oil tortas, which the nuns were also calling tortas del virgin. You’ll be able to buy these in good food shops in larger cities, but I think it’s quite nice to recreate them at home.–Jamie Oliver
LC We Swoon For These Tortas de Aceite Note
Swooning alert. We’ve been wobbly in the knees for these sweet olive oil tortas since we first tasted them shortly after we moved to New York City. Nothing’s changed since then about our passion for these delicately crisp nibbles that are oh-so-lovely with some Prosecco. Except now we can make them at home rather than spend half a paycheck on dainty crisps in a flimsy package that are almost all in crumbs by the time you get home. And so can you. [Editor’s Note: By “we,” I really mean “me,” Renee. But I’ve got a hunch the other lovely ladies of Leite’s like these tortas, too…ladies?]
Spanish Olive Oil Tortas | Tortas de Aceite Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 50 M
- Makes 12 crackers
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups Italian 00 flour* or cake flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- Scant 1/2 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking sheets
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- All-purpose flour, for the work surface
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
- 2. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and fennel seeds in a bowl. Set aside. Pour the olive oil into a measuring cup or another bowl with the water, then add the sugar and yeast and mix well. Set aside for a few minutes.
- 3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly pour in the yeast mixture, using a fork to gradually mix in the flour from the outside as you go. When it all starts to come together, use your hands to mix it into a lovely, smooth dough. If the dough is sticky as heck, add some or all the remaining flour, a little at a time, until a smooth dough forms.
- 4. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets, then dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Lightly flour a clean work surface and a rolling pin with all-purpose flour. Divide your dough into 12 equal-size pieces and shape each one into a ball, then roll out each ball until it’s almost translucent and about 4 inches in diameter. Place each torta on a baking sheet and lightly brush with some beaten egg white. Dust the biscuits lightly with confectioners’ sugar and then scatter a little raw sugar.
- 5. Bake for 6 to 12 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Watch the tortas closely as they can burn in seconds. Immediately transfer the tortas to wire racks to cool for as long as you can resist tucking in. The tortas sorta flake and crumble as you take a bite, and will then quickly dissolve into sweet nothingness within a matter of seconds. So lovely.
*00 Flour Note
- We (heart) 00 flour. The traditional flour used for pasta making, 00 flour isn’t inexpensive. But it is worth its weight in gold. Or tortas de aceite. Whichever you value more. Look for 00 flour at Italian delis and markets, specialty stores, and some grocery stores.
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Spanish Olive Oil Tortas | Tortas de Aceite Recipe © 2013 Jamie Oliver. Photo © 2013 David Loftus. All rights reserved.