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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Bread Discs – the good kind

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summary: recipe for Bread Discs (fennel seed Pernod crackers) based on Susan’s recipe for “Tortas de Aceite”

(click on image for larger view and more photos)

bread discs Wild Yeast starter can be just the thing to make discs. Of course, some discs are not exactly the kind of discs that one hopes to be creating. But there are bad discs and there are good discs. I think I’ve already whined enough about the bad discs; allow me to rave about good discs…

The other day when I made grissini, I used part of the dough to make Susan’s (Wild Yeast) Tortas de Aceite (Olive Oil Wafers). They may not look quite as nice as Susan’s but I have a feeling that we like them as much as she does.

I made ours with fennel seeds (didn’t have anise seeds) and Pernod, which I’m guessing amounts to the same thing as “anise liqueur”.

Wow! These discs are fantastic! They are easy to burn though… :lalala:

bread disc But if they aren’t burned, they are light and crisp, with a lovely hint of licorice flavour. (And I don’t even LIKE licorice….) They’re wonderful on their own or with cheese. They are the perfect thing to serve after dinner! They’re also good with soup for lunch or great with coffee for elevenses.

Frankly, even the darker ones were delicious. Thank you once again, Susan! We’ll be making these often!

Here is what I did to Susan’s recipe:

Bread Discs
based on Susan’s (Wild Yeast) recipe for Tortas de Aceite

  • 125 gm pizza dough
  • 1 Tbsp brown sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp Pernod
  • 70 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • white sugar for sprinkling


  1. In a small cast iron pan over medium-high heat, toast the sesame and fennel seeds until the sesame seeds begin popping. Remove and set aside.
  2. Pour the olive oil into the cast iron pan; add the lemon zest and saute until the zest is golden. Remove from heat and allow the oil to cool.
  3. Place the dough edit 30 April 2008: (this pizza dough recipe makes about 4 times the amount needed for the crackers), seeds, olive oil, and Pernod in a bowl and with a wooden spoon, stir until the oil is evenly distributed through the dough (but not completely incorporated).
  4. Add the flour and stir until it forms a soft ball of dough.
  5. Place the dough on an unfloured surface and divide it into 8 evenly sized pieces. Roll each piece into a round that is around an inch thick (Susan suggests 4 inch rounds – I suspect hers may be a tiny bit thicker than an inch).
  6. Put the rounds onto a parchment-lined cookie tray and sprinkle them lightly with sugar.
  7. Bake at 375F for 10 – 15 minutes until the wafers are lightly brown. WATCH them near the end!! They want to burn….
  8. Susan’s step that I skipped: Remove the wafers from the oven and turn on the broiler. When the broiler is hot, broil the wafers about 5 inches from the heat, until they appear toasted and some of the sugar has melted, about 40 seconds. (Watch them to make sure that they do not broil too long!)
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Susan says to store the discs individually wrapped in waxed paper. I just stacked them and put them into a plastic bag on the counter. They stay remarkably fresh tasting for about four days. (Maybe longer too – no idea – we don’t have any left…)

Next time, I’ll make sure the lemon peel is in bigger pieces. I used a zester and didn’t really notice until now that Susan suggests cutting the lemon peel in relatively wide strips that should be removed after being cooked in oil. I’ll also pay more attention to making each disc uniformly round and the same depth. (Not to mention trying not to burn any…)

Because most definitely, there will be many next times of making these! We adore them!

This post is partially mirrored on
The Fresh Loaf: bread discs – the good kind


  • Susan from Food Blogga

    I haven’t made these yet, but I know there will be “next times” when i do–they sound fabulous! I just visited Susan’s site, Elizabeth. Thanks for introducing me to her.

  • Susan from Wild Yeast

    Looking good, Elizabeth! I’m glad you liked them. I had to look up “elevenses,” and you’re right, these are very nice for that (those?)

  • ejm

    We don’t just like them Susan from WY, we LOVE them! We’ll definitely be serving them for festive dinners (and of course, at other times as well)

    And do make the discs, Susan from FB! I’ll be interested to hear what you think. And I’m glad to have introduced you to SusanWY. She has some absolutely wonderful bread recipes (not to mention that it is largely due to her that I continued with my wild yeast that I made from Susan McKenna Grant’s book “Piano Piano Pieno”).

    So many Susans! :-)

  • Paz

    These do look and sound fantastic! Yum!


  • ejm

    They ARE fantastic, Paz. You’ve got to try them. (When you do, let me and Susan know what you think.)


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