Spanish olive oil tortas, or tortas de aceite, taste just like the store-bought sweet olive oil tortas by Ines Rosales when you follow our instructions. Crisp. Crackly. And with just the right amount of sweet. Here’s how to make them at home as well as how to serve them.
*What is 00 Flour?
We (heart) 00 flour. The traditional flour used for pasta making in Italy, 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.
Spanish Olive Oil Tortas | Tortas de Aceite
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 50 M
- Makes 12 tortas
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour (180 g), salt, and fennel seeds.
Pour the oil into a measuring cup or another bowl containing the water, stir in the sugar and yeast, and mix well. Let rest for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.
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. When everything starts to come together, use your hands to mix it into a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky as heck, add some or all of the remaining 1 cup flour, a little at a time, until a smooth dough forms. It’s quite possible you’ll need to add at least 1/2 cup and as much as the full 1 cup.
Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets and 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. Roll out each ball until it’s almost translucent and somewhere around 4 inches in diameter.
Place each torta on a baking sheet and lightly brush with some beaten egg white. Lightly dust the dough first with confectioners’ sugar and then a little raw sugar.
Bake for 5 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 and crisp. Devour warm or at room temperature. The tortas will crumble into flaky loveliness as you take a bite, and will then quickly dissolve into sweet nothingness within seconds. So lovely. Originally published April 4, 2014.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
I made these Spanish olive oil tortas thinking I wouldn't like them. I was wrong. The recipe was no-fuss—it was easy to put together, all the ingredients were in the pantry, and the cooking time was quick. The result was a slightly raised, fennel-y tasting biscuit that's a perfect pairing for morning coffee or afternoon tea.
I made 10 biscuits instead of 12. I used rubber rings (1/8 inch thick) on the rolling pin so that I could control the thickness. The diameter of each biscuit was approximately 4 inches. Perfect!
I recently purchased a package of Spanish olive oil tortas for the first time and was hooked. They're one of those wonderfully addictive food things that's not too sweet, has a fabulous crispness, yet is somehow delicate. I immediately started looking for a recipe to make them at home, but none was that clear. Then, voilà! One magically appeared.
Unfortunately, I'm not much of a baker, so the errors I made were all mine. But the flavor of these tortas de aceite was actually more interesting than the ones I had given the addition of the fennel. Perfect!
I did use nearly a full cup more flour than the initial 1 1/2 cups flour the recipe called for, as I had a batter, not a dough. The dough was incredibly easy to roll out into circles, although mine weren't thin enough. My most successful ones had thinner edges that crisped up beautifully. They need to be rolled out to nearly translucent.
I made them a second time and rolled the dough very, very thin. They were much better—delicious in fact, but I took the oven temperature down to 400°F and the bake time to 6 to 7 minutes. They were easier to roll by hand, as the fennel seeds caused holes in the dough when it was run through a pasta maker. I still can't get them quite as crispy and flaky as I remember the store-bought tortas de aceite being, but they're absolutely fabulous. I measured the extra flour needed to make a rollable dough, and it was an additional 1/2 cup.
My yield was 24 cookies, each 4 inches in diameter. I'm now determined to get these babies perfect since I want to give them as Christmas gifts with a bottle of that gorgeous limoncello. Great recipe!