It was love at first bite when we were first introduced to these beauties by a close friend of ours. We are now indebted to him for life. If you are ever in Spain, look out for the Ines Rosales tortas and I can guarantee you will be hooked.
If you have never come across tortas before, imagine crisp wafer thin crackers flavoured with aniseed and sprinkled over with shiny crystals of sugar. Cracker heaven!
I’ve adapted these from Crackers & Dips by Ivy Manning.
This recipe makes about 12 crackers abut 4″ in diameter.
100 mls of water
2 teaspoons aniseeds
1 cup flour + 1 tablespoon for dusting
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1. Add 1 teaspoon of the aniseeds to the water and heat it until it is hot but not boiling.
2. Strain the aniseed water, measure and keep aside about 55 mls to cool slightly.
3. Preheat the oven to Gas 4 ( 350 F). Grease and paper 2-3 baking trays and keep aside.
4. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and caster sugar.
5. In another bowl mix together the warm aniseed water, olive oil, yeast and orange zest. Add this to the dry mixture.
6. Mix well and and knead for about 4-5 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Cover the bowl with cling film and let this dough rise in a warm place for about an hour.
7. Divide the dough into 2 equal balls. Then divide each ball further into 6 smaller balls.
8. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into an evenly flat circle, dusting with extra flour as necessary. This is like rolling out chapatis or tortillas.
9. Transfer the circles onto the baking trays. You will probably need to do this in 3-4 batches.
10. Combine the sugar with the remaining aniseeds. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over each circle. Press the sugar and the aniseeds into the circle with the back of a spoon or the base of a flat cup.
11. Prick the circles with a fork and bake for about 7-8 minutes until they are golden brown. Keep a watch as your oven may work differently. These crackers are very thin and can go from golden to burnt in a few seconds.
12. Cool the crackers and enjoy fresh.
1. You could make these in different flavours. I’ve tried a lemon zest version, cracked black pepper with sea salt and even one with chopped green chillies. For these other versions, just use 55 mls of warm water without infusing it with the aniseeds. Omit the sugar in the savoury versions.
2. They may store well for a few days but ours don’t last more than a couple of hours so I can’t be sure….