Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Torcettini di Saint Vincent - We Knead to Bake - 4

 This was the sugar crusted twisted cookies from the valle d’ Aosta. This was the fourth challenge of the we knead to bake.
 It was not a bread as we already had baked three breads. It is actually a cookies made using yeasted dough. By nature Italian cookies are not intensely sweet and have a stubble crunch to it.
This light yeast raisen cookie is a cross between a buttery  bread  stick and a caramelized puff pastry palmier.
 Torcettini were a favorite of Italy’s Queen Margherita , the wife of King Umberto 1 of Savoy. In fact , she liked the version in one pastry shop so much , she knighted the shop owner on the spot. A certificate attesting to this still hangs in the shop in saint vincent.

 Torcettini are smaller version of Torcetti ( meaning small twiats ) 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 baking . These biscuits are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d’ Aosta , a small mountanious region in the North –Western Italy , eventhough they are well known throughout the piedmont region as well.

 The origin of this biscuits is believed to be from Grissini ( Breadsticks ) which were made from the leftover scraps of bread dough . According to a 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 , he rolled them in sugar and shaped them into loops and the Torcetti was born. Torcetti / Torchettinitaste even better when they are flavoured with lime/ lemon zest or anise.

 These biscuits are crunchy , not very sweet and pair well with cold milk , hot chocolate , tea / coffee . These are delicious served warm and equally good cold and keep very well if stored in airtight containers.
Torcettini di Saint Vincent
I made two versions of this cookie – plain and chocolate Flavoured . I am sharing both here.
Requirements :
Plain version :
Warm water – ½ cup @ 110* C
Active dry yeast – 1 ½ tsp  ( or 1 tsp Instant yeast )
All purpose flour – 2 cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Lemon Zest – 1 tsp
Unsalted butter – 40 g
Sugar for Rolling – 1/3 cup
Chocolate Version :
Warm water – ½ cup @ 110* F
Active dry yeast – 1 ½ tsp  ( or 1 tsp Instant yeast )
All purpose flour – 2 cup
Coco powder / Drinking chocolate – 2 tbs
Salt – ¼ tsp
Lemon Zest – 1 tsp
Unsalted butter – 40 g
Sugar for Rolling – 1/3 cup
Method :
Plain Torcettini :
The temperature of the water will be luke warm , if no thermometer in hand.
Add the yeast to this water and let it undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Add the flour and salt to a bowl and mix well.

Now , add the butter and mix well , it will be crumble first and must be in the form of powder.
Now , add  the lemon zest and proofed yeast and mix well.
Knead  once or twicw. Don’t overknead.
Place this ball of dough in a oiled bowl and cover.
Let the dough rise a little bit.
It won’t double actually , it will be soft and pluffy to touch. When look over the dough after pinching the top , the interior will look bit like a honeycomb , due to action of the yeast.
Deflate the dough and cover it in a cling wrap and refrigerate for atleast one hour or 24 hours. I refrigerated for 24 hours.
Chocolate Torcettini :
Add the yeast to the warm water and let it proof.
In the mean time , mix the flour , salt and cocoa powder together.

Add in the butter and mix well to powdery consistency.
Add in the proofed yeast , orange zest and mix well.

Place this knead ball in a oiled bowl and let it proof for a hour.
Deflate and cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Shaping of Torciettini :
Place both  the refrigerated dough in the kitchen counter the next day.
Sprinkle flour it needed.
Lightly Roll the dough into a square of approximately 6” .
Cut the dough into four equal width strips and cut again these into equal pieces cutting cross wise , makes a total of 24 pieces of each flavor.

Take a piece and roll into pencil thick rope about 5” long with the fingers of both hand. Just cross the two ends of the rope to form a loop .
Roll and shape the remaining pieces.

 Roll each shaped cookie in the bowl of sugar , make sure to coat sugar on all sides. This gives the sweetness to the cookies as we didn't add sugar to the dough.

I shaped the corner cutout of both flavor and made some cookies , it has both the flavors.
Place the shaped Torcettinis in the baking sheet , leaving 1 ½ ’’  gap between each. Leave them at room temperature for 20 minutes or more till it rise slightly. They won’t puff much.

Bake these at preheated oven of 220* C @ convection mode for 20 - 25 minutes or till they are golden brown in color.
Let it cool and store.

Store in airtight container.

It was so crisp on the day of baking.
Torcettini will be glittering with the sugar crystals. 

Check out my other recipes for We knead to bake

January - spinach pesto pull apart Bread

Febrauary - Classic croissants

March - Hokkaido Milk Bread

 @ Nivedhanam of cooksjoy

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Tangy minds


  1. looking gorgeous and nice detailed post

  2. Woww they looks fantastic..nice stepwise recipe!!

  3. Wow! Beautiful and delicious looking cookies Sharanya :-)

  4. Wish i get a huge plate of this yeasted cookies,love to munch rite now,beautiful detailed post sis.

  5. looking super and well explained dear...

  6. They are beautiful. Thanks for linking.

  7. deliciously done!! very nice stepwise!!! Thanks for linking it to my event!! Looking for more yummy recipes!!
    Event - WTML w giveaway


  8. Wow so lovely.Thank you so much for your entry linked in my blog.