Orange and Fennel and Olive Oil Biscuits

30 minutes + 7 minutes Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbsp raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 egg white, beaten
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Method

  • 1. Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced).

  • 2. Mix 1¾ cups of the flour, salt, and fennel seeds in a large bowl. Set aside.

  • 3. Make a yeast sponge by pouring the olive oil into a small bowl with the water, sugar and yeast, and mix well. Set aside for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.

  • 4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and slowly pour in the yeast mixture and orange zest, using a fork to combine. Mix until everything starts to come together, then use your hands to knead into a smooth dough. Add the remaining flour as you go, so the dough isn’t too sticky.

  • 5. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Divide dough into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape each one into a ball, flattening each with the palm of your hand. With a well-floured rolling pin, roll out each ball to a 15cm disc – it should be almost translucent.

  • 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and brush / spray with oil. Place each disc on the baking paper. Lightly brush each with egg white, and scatter sprinkle with raw sugar.

  • 7. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until golden and crisp (bake in separate batches if need be). Watch them closely as they burn quickly.

  • 9. Leave to cool on a wire rack before wrapping up as a gift. Best served on their own or smeared with a soft, tart cheese.

  • Tip: These remain fresh and crispy for weeks in an airtight container, or freshen them up in a warm oven if you like.

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