Olive Oil Tortas You Can Make at Home & Flavor However You'd Like

April 15, 2016

The first time I tried Ines Rosales Olive Oil Tortas wasn’t a holiday, but it felt like one.

Allow me to explain. Each olive oil torta (or tortas de aceite) arrives in its own wrapping: a crinkly sheet of wax paper stamped with simple font in bright blue (or orange, green, turquoise, depending on flavor). For me, the feeling of unwrapping a torta is pretty much akin to unwrapping the most highly anticipated birthday gift. The crackers themselves are light and crispy, faintly anise-flavored, and studded with sugar crystals.

While the tortas are available for purchase at many grocery stores, my deep, undying, close-your-eyes-and-sigh-with-pleasure sort of love necessitated learning to make the snacks myself. Because as much as I wish my bi-monthly paycheck allowed for the constant purchase of what is essentially a dollar-per-cracker snack, it just doesn’t. So until I hit the jackpot, I’ll save buying the real things as a treat every now and then, and make them myself when a craving hits.

The olive oil torta recipe is not a difficult one, but it does involve a decent amount of preparation. I used to be of the belief system that when a baked good involved yeast, I was setting myself up for an entire day in the kitchen: I'd be up to my elbows in sticky dough, spend hours waiting for the concoction to rise, and leave everything within a ten-foot radius of my counter blanketed in a fine layer of flour. But here’s the thing: Baking with yeast is not as complicated as it appears.

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Read the recipe in its entirety, set up your mise en place, then read through the recipe once more. Do you have a clean work surface? Extra flour? Good. The dough of your labor will be well worth the possibly annoying organization.

Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the aniseed or fennel seeds. They don’t have to be a fine powder, but the seeds should be cracked open and fairly pulverized.

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Top Comment:
“Hi, I’m eager to try these since I’ve becoming addicted to the Ines Rosales Orange Tortas. Exploring all of the recipes I could find online, including yours, none of the recipes include sesame seeds, but the Rosales brand lists it in the ingredients. It’s the nutty flavor I’m looking for so I’ll wing it and see what happens. Thanks for your recipe and the flavor tips at the end! ”
— trudy10

Whisk the flour, salt, and a few pinches of ground aniseed or fennel seeds together in a large bowl. Combine warm water, olive oil, any extracts (if you're making your own flavor variation), and yeast in small bowl and whisk until yeast dissolves. Combine the oil mixture with the flour mixture.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Knead the mixture with the heel of your hand—inside the bowl is fine, if there’s room—for about five minutes. (Alternatively, you can use the dough hook of an electric mixer to knead.)

If it’s chilly in the kitchen, heat the oven to 200° F for the duration of kneading time, then turn it off. Cover the bowl containing the dough with a dish towel and place it in the warm oven with the door open (or find another warm space). Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

After half an hour, the dough should have doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 400° F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly dust a work surface with flour. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll each into a mound about the size of a golf ball.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into a flat round, about 6 inches in diameter. Rounds should be very thin and fairly (but not very) translucent. If the crackers are rolled too thin, they tend to bubble up in the oven. (It doesn’t affect the flavor at all—they'll just look less like the packaged tortas. In fact, they look more rustic that way, which you may even prefer. Your choice.)

Is the dough resisting being rolled flat? Don’t freak out! You’ve done nothing wrong—the gluten simply needs to relax a little. Move onto the next ball and then try again.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

You’ll be able to fit about four tortas per baking sheet. Don’t try to squish more on!

Brush each cracker with egg white, then sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and aniseed. Add some more sugar for good luck.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Obviously, if you’re making savory crackers, omit the sugar. If you’re adding extra flavors, now’s the time to get creative! Citrus zest, chopped dried fruit or nuts, herbs galore, even grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese and some cracked pepper. There are no wrong answers. (But if you’re doing a chocolate drizzle/dip, save that for baked crackers.)

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Bake for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on how large and thick your crackers are. They can burn within that last 30 seconds, so be diligent and definitely don’t get distracted in cleanup! Pour a cup of coffee and watch the oven. Start with 6 minutes, check the crackers and rotate the pan. Continue baking for 1-minute intervals until the tortas are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Serve with coffee for breakfast or a snack, or with Champagne (and maybe even a few spoonfuls of ice cream) for an evening treat.

If you have incredible willpower, wait until the tortas have cooled completely, then wrap individually in waxed paper like the packaged ones! Place wrapped crackers in a large zip-top bag. They’ll keep for about 5 days. But I won’t judge you if you don’t last that long.

Flavor variations:

  • For the sweet-toothed: To the dough add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, vanilla extract, orange flower water, cinnamon, ground star anise, and/or citrus zest; sprinkle with chopped nuts or dried fruit; or drizzle the baked crackers with or dip into melted chocolate post-baking.
  • For the savory snacker: Omit the sugar and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (like rosemary, thyme, or sage), 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh herbs or spices like sweet paprika or sesame seeds, or finely grated Parmesan or Manchego before baking.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lucy
  • trudy10
  • thenenebean
  • Christina Lynn Buendia
    Christina Lynn Buendia
  • kewpietums
Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.


Lucy January 17, 2022
I love recipe, but mine came out a little crumbly so maybe I need to reduce the flour? I sprinkled them with za’atar which was delicious.
trudy10 December 3, 2020
Hi, I’m eager to try these since I’ve becoming addicted to the Ines Rosales Orange Tortas. Exploring all of the recipes I could find online, including yours, none of the recipes include sesame seeds, but the Rosales brand lists it in the ingredients.
It’s the nutty flavor I’m looking for so I’ll wing it and see what happens. Thanks for your recipe and the flavor tips at the end!
Rebecca F. December 3, 2020
though I haven't tested it, I'm sure you could sprinkle on un-toasted sesame seeds along with the sugar on top of the tortas before baking. It's the toasting that will bring the nutty flavor you're looking for, which will happen while they bake—sounds like it'll be amazing :)
thenenebean October 18, 2020
A distant, disappointing primo to Ines Rosales. Mine were dry and muted in flavor. A video on you tube showed the factory workers shaping the tortas by hand. My dough was borderline crumbly, so I will try again with less flour and seek a better, wetter rise that’s hand pliable.
Christina L. November 22, 2019
If I'm having a serious hankering for these but am all out of olive oil is there a suitable oil substitute, or must I make a dash to the store?
Rebecca F. November 22, 2019
Olive oil is one of the main flavors in these crackers, so you definitely should use it! That being said I have not tested with another oil, so I can't say another oil (grapeseed, coconut, avocado, etc) *won't* work. However, for the best flavor I would use olive oil.
kewpietums May 2, 2016
So unbelievably uncomplicated and easy to put together. Thank you! I think they are wonderful for a continental breakfast.
Julie April 15, 2016
Thanks so much for this recipe!!! -- I am addicted to these wonderful things but can't always find them at the store in the flavor I like.
Rebecca F. April 26, 2016
you're so welcome!! I'm addicted to them, too :)
Fernando @. April 15, 2016
Only four per sheet? What a cruel way to test my patience :) Lovely tortas though, and I would personally choose Champagne together with these
Rebecca F. April 26, 2016
thanks! champagne + tortas sounds like everything I've ever wanted