Spanish olive oil tortas are a feature of Spanish cuisine that can be found all over the country. They are a round, sweet crisp bread, with the spices and flavors differing depending upon which region they come from. The ones that I’m sharing today hail from the town of Castilleja de la Cuesta in the province of Seville, and are flavored with sesame and anise.
This particular tortas de aceite is protected by the Spanish government as an important regional food that can only be sold under the name tortas de aceite de Castilleja de la Cuesta if it meets certain standards and contains certain ingredients.
Sometimes this snack is referred to as tortas de Inés Rosales because one of the largest manufacturers of these is a Spanish company called Inés Rosales, which has been producing them since 1910.
These crisps are most often enjoyed during merienda, the afternoon snack before dinner later in the evening.
Spanish Olive Oil Tortas from Castilleja de la Cuesta | Tortas de Aceite de Castilleja de la Cuesta
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil ⅔ cup
- 15 g anise seeds 2 ½ tbsp
- 30 g sesame seeds ¼ cup
- 210 ml water 1 scant cup
- 8 g instant yeast / 10 g active dry yeast/ 25g fresh yeast 2 tsp/ 3 ¼ tsp
- 60 g sugar 4 ½ tbsp
- 60 g sweet anise liqueur ¼ cup
- 540 g bread flour 4 ⅓ cups
- ¼ tsp salt
- sugar for sprinkling
- Gently heat the olive oil over low to medium-low heat until it shimmers but is not smoking. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a seed. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.
- Stir the anise and sesame seeds into the hot oil and let them toast for a minute or two until the sesame seeds are lightly golden. Be careful not to burn them.
- Take them off the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl and cool to body temperature. You want to make sure the olive oil is no longer hot when you add it to the rest of the ingredients so that it doesn't kill the yeast.
- Mix the water with the yeast and the sugar, and let it sit for 5 minutes to activate.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Then add in the cooled olive oil mixture, the anise liqueur, and the yeast mixture.
- Combine into a rough dough and then knead it on your work surface for a couple of minutes (or in a stand mixer). If your dough is too sticky, add in 1 tbsp of flour at a time until the right consistency is achieved (smooth and elastic). Place the ball of dough into a large bowl and let it rest covered for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough and measure out 40 g pieces (about the size of a golf ball). Roll out each ball of dough into a flat, round circle. It should be very thin, but take care not to let the edges get too thin because they will burn in the oven.
- Place the rolled-out circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (about 4 will fit on one sheet), and bake for 6-9 minutes in a 200℃ / 400℉ oven. Keep an eye on them as they bake because they burn very easily.
- After baking, let them cool on a rack and then enjoy with an afternoon cup of coffee.