Tortas de Aceite

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drmoss_ca
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Tortas de Aceite

Post by drmoss_ca » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:45 am

I don't know if these delicious olive oil biscuits/cookies ever came across to the Spanish-influenced culture of the southern US, having first met them in Andalusia. Sugary, flaky and aniseed flavoured. Delicious with an aperitif, perhaps as the last bite of your tapas. They are also easy to make, if a little labour intensive. It is worth the effort, and what you make will be better than the commercial brands like Ines Rosales.

In readiness:
-Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
-Lightly grease two baking trays, or use silicone baking sheets like a sensible person.
-Sprinkle sugar evenly over the baking sheets (use a sifter if you have one).

Dry:
-Mix 1½ cups all-purpose or cake flour with 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp aniseed (This can be fennel seeds, or ground-up star anise, which is better).

Wet:
-Mix 2/3 cup warm water, 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 TBSP sugar and 2 tsp dried yeast. Keep the mixture warm and stir occasionally until it is getting foamy as the yeast activates. Don't wait too long - you want some of the CO2 available later to inflate the layers of the final biscuit.
-Separate an egg and whisk the white, keeping it for later.

Mix:
-Pour the liquid into a well in the dry ingredients and mix together.
-Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into twelve balls of dough.
-Using as much extra flour as required (the oily dough will need at least a generous pinch for each ball) flatten and roll them into rounds about 1/8 to 1/4" thick.
-Place each onto the sugar-sifted baking sheet and press gently so as to impress the sugar into the underside.
-Brush the upper side with the whisked egg white
-Sprinkle on more sugar

Bake:
- bake for 6-12 minutes at 450ºF. My oven with both trays on the top shelf effectively blocking air circulation takes all 12 minutes. Yours might be quicker. All that sugar means that when they burn they do so suddenly. The first time you do it set a timer for six minutes and have a look. Then look every two minutes. You want a bit of browning on the top, but not overmuch around the edges. When done place on racks to cool.

Serve:
Nibble with café con leche, a glass of sherry or indulge your pan-Mediterrannean instincts with a Campari-soda.

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"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by ShadowsDad » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:43 pm

The recipe sounds delicious!
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

EL Alamein
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:40 pm

I'm trying to avoid carbs but you, Sir, are an enabler!

Chris

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fallingwickets
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by fallingwickets » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:30 am

de gustibus non est disputandum

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by drmoss_ca » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:32 pm

In my view, carbs are the devil: tempting, yummy and filling. Given that agriculture began just a few thousand years ago, I don't think we cope with a lot of carbohydrates well - hundreds of thousands of years of evolution had only had to equip us to cope with the occasional ripe fruit, not a full day's worth of calories that would become blood glucose as soon as they entered the portal circulation. I love breads and pastries, but they make me fat very quickly if I'm not careful. I can lose or maintain a low weight easily if I avoid them. No doubt I am cruel to make such treats for my boss, but I am programmed to please her....

C.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by ShadowsDad » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:07 pm

Whole grains help, but todays alleged "whole grains" aren't whole grains at all, yet are called that (they lie). The only way to get real whole grains is to buy from someone who has an old time mill, or make it yourself. I grind my own. As someone who tries to bake with whole grains, there is a reason todays flour mills remove certain parts of the berry. It makes light bread making very difficult if the entire berry is used. Great flavor, but the rise is affected. Maybe not so much for a cookie. I haven't tried genuine whole grain in that.

I have found that if I triple grind the flour, that the flour isn't affected, but the bran is small enough to not deflate the loaf. I haven't tried grinding it 4x yet. Then there are naturally occurring chemicals in the berry that retard rising, one needs to contend with hat as well. But in my experience so far it's the bran that punctures the structure and makes the loaf fall, even after adding natural substances (Vit C and lecithin) to strengthen the structure.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

EL Alamein
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by EL Alamein » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:52 pm

Brian, fascinating stuff! We are so far removed from the way things used to be just a few short decades ago almost no one has any living memory of how such a life was. But people had to contend with such stuff on a daily basis back in the day.

I dont' want hijack the thread but similar to your experience my 82 yo mother gave me a Lily Wallace New American Cookbook about a year ago. It was from some time in the 1950's I believe. I found the section on "cereals" fascinating. Cereals today don't resemble anything like what is described in this cookbook. It's all the real stuff, available back then with little to no refining. My kids would puke at the site of it if I tried to serve them what the cookbook proffered as a proper cooked breakfast cereal. For that matter much of what's in the cookbook wasn't even heard of in my circles as a child in the 1970's.

Clive, your article is much appreciated. I've read the controversial book "Good Calories, Bad Calories". I've also read the highly controversial book "The Drinking Man's Diet" which is essentially an Atkins-like diet long before Atkins came along. For myself I know I can't enjoy carbs like I would desire. I love them but they fatten me terribly. It works for me to stay slim to avoid them. Occasionally, like the holiday season, I do enjoy something like the Royal Gingerbread or homemade Chocolate Mousse and such. And my wife bakes excellently for the Holidays so there's that temptation. The rest of the year I try to maintain myself with traditional French cooking which, in my analysis, low carb.

One fascinating observation made in that book GCBC is that if one maintains a ridiculously low calorie limit you can pretty much eat anything without the adverse health effects IF your genes allow it. It relates a story (it's full of lots of stories) about a man who eats nothing but candy bars but never exceeds something like 1200 calories in a day with no adverse health effects. I was flabbergasted. In the end genetics and ones own makeup is what you have to work with so for me I choose low carbs. I have other vices which make life more pleasant.

Chris

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ShadowsDad
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Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by ShadowsDad » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:45 pm

Yes Chris, we've allowed the alleged "food" companies to advertise us out of the right way to eat. But don't think that I'm holding myself up as some sort of model of food perfection. I love the white flour and fast food as much as other folks. But I try to make an effort toward genuine good food when I have the time. Modern life doesn't support the effort though.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

EL Alamein
Posts: 2706
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Tortas de Aceite

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:12 pm

Brian, yeah, we have to deal with things as they are and make the most of it when we can.

Chris

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