Tortas de Aceite: A taste of Spain comes to High Blean B&B, Askrigg

We have recently come to enjoy the pleasure to be had from a simple baked bread biscuit, the Tortas de Aceite: olive oil biscuit flavoured with aniseed.

M&S Tortas de Aceite

M&S Tortas de Aceite

M&S sell this tasty treat, which comes in vacuum packs of 6 tortas, with each individually wrapped in thick, quality grease proof paper. We have never actually purchased any, we have just been brought them as a gift.

The ritual of un-peeling the torta is part of the enjoyment, and is strangely satisfying, to say the basic biscuit has limited flavours.

They are perfect with a good strong cup of coffee, or tea for that matter.

Given there is no M&S close by I thought it can not be too difficult to make these biscuits and I was right.

Here is an adapted recipe that makes six tortas [you don’t want to make too many as they soon turn soft]

Ingredients: 

  • 150g Strong flour.
  • 50ml Olive Oil. I used extra virgin but I am not sure this is essential.
  • 4g active dry yeast.
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt. This will give odd explosions of saltiness in the finished tortas. If this is not your thing use table salt.
  • 1 teaspoon of aniseed.
  • 2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar. Extra to dust.
  • 1 beaten egg for the glaze.
  • 75ml lukewarm water.

Pour the water into a jug, add the sugar and yeast and stir together. Set aside while you weigh out the rest of the ingredients.

Next, pour the flour, salt and aniseed into a mixing bowl and mix together. Then pour on the olive oil and mix with a plate knife. Finally add the water/yeast/sugar which was earlier set aside  Keep mixing with the palate knife to form a soft dough. Add a dust of flour to the dough and to the work surface and tip out.

Give the dough a short knead with your hands then split into six equal portions. Roll these out to the thickness of a 5p coin, so they are about 7 inch in diameter.  They need to be thin, to get the biscuit texture. If in doubt over roll.

Dust a baking sheet with icing sugar and place the rolled out torta onto the baking sheet. Next, brush each torta with the beaten egg, then dust liberally with icing sugar, before sprinkle  a small amount of golden caster sugar on the top of each torta.

Now into a hot oven for about 10 minutes. They should be golden in colour but not burnt and need to be crisp.

Spanish tortas de aceite olive oil bread biscuit as baked at High Blean B&B Askrigg

Home Made Tortas de Aceite

When cooked, place onto a wire cooling tray for a few minutes and enjoy with coffee, tea or a beverage of your choosing.

I am to experiment with individually wrapping my tortas, but this batch of six [the other two were eaten before I could take the photo] did not last long enough for that!

 

 

 

 

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