Fennel Seed Tortas

Rachel Pitts, Fruitful Kitchen, Serves 10


125 ml (½ cup) warm water

1 tsp dried yeast

125 ml (½ cup) Mount Zero Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1 tbsp fennel seeds*

1½ tbsp sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

300 g (2 cups) plain flour

*If you have anise seeds in your spice collection, you might like to use these instead of fennel for an authentic torta such as those by the company Ines Rosales in Seville.


Tip the warm water into a medium mixing bowl and scatter the yeast over the surface. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands to form a dough. Transfer to a work surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is becoming smooth and elastic. You shouldn’t need any flour on the bench, as the oil stops the dough from sticking. Cover the bowl with an upturned plate and leave for an hour or so, until you can see the dough rising well (you don’t need to wait for it to double).

There are a few ways to roll out the dough. The quickest option is to roll the whole piece very thin (almost transparent) and use a round cookie cutter or an upturned glass to cut out circles. The more authentic way is to pinch off pieces of dough and roll with your hands into balls, then use a rolling pin to roll flat … The size is also up to you – I used teaspoon-sized pieces of dough and rolled out 2 balls at a time. But you may prefer larger crackers.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lay the crackers on trays lined with baking paper, leaving a small amount of space in between. Sprinkle the crackers with a little salt or sugar – or a bit of each – as desired. Bake for around 10 minutes until golden around the edges, taking care not to burn them.

Rachel Pitts
These crisp Spanish biscuits made with extra-virgin olive oil are part sweet, part savoury. Tortas de aciete – ‘oil crackers’ – come from Seville and are now imported in beautiful packaging all over the world. But you can make them easily and cheaply at home. Perfect whenever you are in the mood for fancy nibbles, paired with hard cheeses, salty morsels (i.e. olives) and sparkling wine. You can also enjoy a torta with tea or coffee, but you may not be able to stop at just one!

Recipe Ingredients from the Mount Zero Range