This Spanish olive oil tortas, or tortas de aceite, tastes just like the store-bought sweet olive oil tortas by Ines Rosales. Crisp. Crackly. And with just the right amount of sweet.
These Spanish olive oil tortas are known as tortas de aceite or olive oil tortas in their native Spain. (They’re even, I’m told, referred to as tortas del virgin by nuns. You can bet I’m researching the why behind this.) I’ve been wobbly in the knees for the packaged version, known as sweet olive oil tortas, since I first experienced them shortly after moving to Manhattan. The brand I prefer, seeing as there are several, is Ines Rosales because their tortas are never stale, are unfailingly shatteringly crisp, are imbued with just the right amount of sweet, and are ever so gently inflected with the occasional fennel seed. They’re oh so lovely with sparkling wine and go uncannily well with salty nibbly things such as olives and hard cheeses. They’re close to perfect. My only complaint is that for years I lacked all self-control in this regard and would pay something close to half a paycheck for the delicate wisps that almost always end up in crumbs before I even open them thanks to their absurdly flimsy packaging. But now I can make them myself at home. And so can you. This recipe has been updated. Originally published April 4, 2014.–Renee Schettler Rossi
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 (230°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 for the yeast to become frothy.
- 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. When everything 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 of 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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