Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Torcettini di Saint Vincent - Sugar Crusted Twisted Cookies for We Knead to Bake # 4

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,



Torcettini di Saint Vincent (Sugar Crusted Twisted Cookies from the Valle d’Aosta) chosen by Aparna, creator of We Knead To Bake , for April month challenge . We already have faced three challenges and baked few baked goodies like Pull Apart Bread, Classic All Butter Croissants and Hokkiado Milk Bread with Tangzong .





I have copied Aparna's quote here word to word

Torcettini are smaller versions of Torcetti (meaning small twists), and these pear/ teardrop shaped twists are made of a dough of flour, yeast and butter which are shaped and then rolled in sugar before being baked. These biscuits/ cookies are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d'Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy, even though they’re well known throughout the Piedmont region as well.




Torcetti/ Torcettini are believed to have descended from Grissini (breadsticks) which were made from the leftover scraps of bread dough. According to one story, a Grissini baker had some leftover butter which he needed to use up. Inspiration struck and he decided to add the butter to the last batch of his Grissini dough for the day. To be able to differentiate this lot of “breadsticks” from his Grissini, he rolled them in sugar and shaped them into loops, and the Torcetti was born. Torcetti/ Torchettini are usually flavoured with lime/ lemon zest or anise.



These biscuits/ cookies are crunchy on the outside with a somewhat bread-like texture on the inside. They’re not very sweet and pair very well with cold milk, hot chocolate, tea/ coffee or wine. They are delicious served warm and equally good cold, and keep very well if stored in airtight containers. Apparently, Queen Margaret, the wife of King Umberto I of Savoy loved these biscuits so much during her stay in Valle d'Aosta, that she gave her servants enough provisions to bake an abundant supply for her consumption. 

 


 Aparna has adapted this recipe from the one in Nick Malgieri’s “A Baker’s Tour”. Traditionally these biscuits/ cookies are shaped by rolling out bits of dough into “ropes”and then pinching the ends together to form a “teardrop” shape. These are shaped by crossing the rope of dough near the ends to pretty looking twists.
 

I have followed Aparan's recipe , which were given by her to all the challengers. I did not add any cocoa powder in my recipe, and I doubled up the recipe in volume , I gave half cookies a round shape and I coated them with dermera sugar. Right now husband is having them with tea and he described them as " Amazing " :)



Torcettini di Saint Vincent
(Adpated from A Baker’s Tour by Nick Malgieri)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water, about 45C (110F)
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 tsp instant yeast)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lime/ lemon zest or 1 tsp crushed anise seeds
40gm 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
about 1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling the cookies
 
Method:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.
Put the flour and the salt in the food processor bowl (or a largish regular bowl if kneading by hand) and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is well mixed and the flour-butter mixture looks powdery.
Add the yeast-water mixture and pulse till it all comes together as a ball. Do not over process or knead. Place the ball of dough in a oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated with the oil. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise quite a bit. This dough does not really double in volume, but it should look “puffy” after about an hour or so. When you pinch off a bit from the top you can see the interior looking a bit like honeycomb. Press down the dough and deflate it, wrap it in cling warp and refrigerate it for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square. If the dough feels sticky, scatter a little sugar on it. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough into four strips of equal width. Cut each strip into 6 equal pieces, by cutting across, making a total of 24 pieces. The measurements are not very critical in this part because this just makes it easier to have 24 equal sized bits of dough, as compared to pinching of bits of the dough.
Roll each piece into a pencil thick “rope” about 5” long. Sprinkle a little sugar on your work surface and roll the “rope” in it so the sugar crusts the dough uniformly. Form the “rope” into a loop crossing it over before the ends.
Place the Torcettini on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly. They will not “puff up” much, like bread, but the “puff” will be visible.
Bake them at 160C (325F) or Gas Mark 4 for about 25 minutes till they’re a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely, on a rack. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. This recipe makes 24 cookies.
Enjoy !!
 
 
Linking this to We Knead to Bake
Gain Popularity event by JCookingOdyssey and
Made with Love Mandays event by Javelin Warrior

 
 

4 comments:

  1. These cookies are beautiful! And I love the finishing sugar - it gives the cookies a wonderful sparkle... Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Extremely tempting and perfectly made cookies...

    ReplyDelete
  3. wonderfully prepared...looks perfect dear

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very cute.. And a perfect shape too..

    ReplyDelete

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