When I first saw these cute little cookies that Aparna posted for April's 'We knead to bake', I loved the way these cookies looked and liked the simplicity in this recipe. This was the first cookie recipe that I came across that used yeast! I was eager to make my own batch and but unfortunately things kept me busy whole of last month and I could make time to bake these cookies only this weekend. Well well, was I delighted with these!? I was!!! Crunchy crisp on the outside with the grainy sugar crystals and chewy soft on the inside, these cookies were truly a delight to much on at well, any hour of the day..!!
What delighted me even more was that my family absolutely loved it and in fact thought this was my 'best' baked goodie so far... now that does sound nice doesn't it? :) I did not waste any time and whipped up another batch the yesterday! :) The second batch too disappeared in no time! :D These are mildly sweet, as no sugar goes into the dough and the only sweetness is from the sugar crust. I loved this about these cookies... try it, sure you would love it! :)
Makes: 24 biscuits
Prep Time: 3-4 hrs
Rising time: 1 hr
Second Rising time: 2-3 hrs
Cooking Time: 15-25 mins
Warm Water - 1/2 cup
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
All-purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Lemon Zest - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 40gm cold and cut into small pieces
Sugar - about 1/3 cup, for rolling the cookies
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the salt. Add the butter pieces and lemon zest, mix using fingertips until the mixture looks powdery.
- Add the yeast-water mixture and mix 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.
- Press down the dough and deflate it, wrap it in cling wrap and refrigerate it for a couple of hours.
- When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square.
- 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 in parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly. Don't worry, they will not “puff up” much.
- Bake them at 160C (325F) for about 25 minutes till they're a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely, on a rack. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.