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Recipe | Venetian Bussola Biscuits

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

I love making a big whooha about coffee time. Well, then again a lot of my friends and former guests would tell you I make a big whooha about anything related to eating and drinking. I also firmly believe in weekend baking, something I haven’t done in quite a while, but something I’m going to start doing again. A happy house has cake, cookies, and biscuits, right?

I found this lovely Bussola recipe in Tessa Kiros‘s recipe book Venezia Food & Dreams, a book I found whilst wandering through a bookstore a few years ago. I tend to really judge a book by its cover and I have a terrible weak spot for beautiful packaging and stunning book covers. Tessa’s recipe books are incredible, the amount of effort and attention to detail that goes into these books are incredible. Not to mention the great photography.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

Bussola biscuits are ‘S’ shaped or round biscuits said to come from the island of Burano in Venice, Italy. They can be enjoyed with coffee or even as a dessert paired with strawberries and vanilla ice-cream. They are also great to have with Fragolino, an Italian dessert wine.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

The recipe requires ingredients to be weighed. The only scale I have however is one I found at a pawn shop which would be about as helpful as Kahla, our little cat ‘helper’ in the kitchen. Kahla loves observing the humans in the kitchen. I’ll include some rough conversions if you’re in the same boat as me.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

 Ingredients

  • 125g cold, unsalted butter, chopped
  • 250g (2 cups) cake (00) flour
  • 110g sugar (round about 125ml)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons milk

 Method

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

Mix the butter with the flour and the sugar until it looks crumbly, rather resembling damp sand.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

Combine the egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon zest and milk in a bowl. Add the lot to the sandy butter, flour and sugar mixture and mix it until it comes together. If you have a blender or a Magimix, consider using that with a pulsing action. I just used a normal hand mixer.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

Once you have it mixed together. Turn it out onto a board and bring it all together to make a 20cm long, fat roll. I usually divide the roll in two and experiment on one of the halves. This time I tried adding almonds. Wrap your roll in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for an hour or more. Preheat your oven to 170C (325F, Gas 3). Line a baking tray with baking paper. You’ll need a lightly floured surface as well as flour for your hands.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

Keep one half of the roll in the fridge to keep cool while you cut and roll biscuits from the other half. Cut the slices about 5mm thick along the log and roll each slice out to an  8cm long which is about 1cm thick. Form each one into an ‘S’ shape (or alternatively roll out the slice to 10cm and form a circle). Place them on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until pale but golden here and there.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

The biscuits should not be hard as they will harden once out of the oven. Let cool. These cookies below are the almond cookies and might I say they are amazing. Try it if you like. Just add two teaspoons of almonds to half a roll.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

We had ours with coffee, but I think next time we’ll try them as dessert. Kahla seemed to also want some.

Bussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita HelloBussola Biscuits on Rita Hello

This is the third time I’ve made these biscuits and honestly, I try something different with them each time. Next time I might just add some white chocolate.

Bussola Biscuits

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Bussola Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 125g cold, unsalted butter, chopped
  • 250g (2 cups) cake (00) flour
  • 110g sugar (round about 125ml)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Mix the butter with the flour and the sugar until it looks crumbly, rather resembling damp sand.
  2. Combine the egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon zest and milk in a bowl. Add the lot to the sandy butter, flower and sugar mixture and mix it until it comes together. If you have a blender or a Magimix, consider using that with a pulsing action. I just used a normal hand mixer.
  3. Once you have it mixed together. Turn it out on a board and bring it all together to make a 20cm long, fat roll. I usually divide the roll in two and experiment on one of the halves. This time I tried adding almonds. Wrap your roll in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for an hour or more. Preheat your oven to 170C (325F, Gas 3). Line a baking tray with baking paper. You’ll need a lightly floured surface as well as flour for your hands.
  4. Keep one half of the roll in the fridge to keep cool while you cut and roll biscuits from the other half. Cut the slices about 5mm thick along the log and roll each slice out to an 8cm long which is about 1cm thick. Form each one into an ‘S’ shape (or alternatively roll out the slice to 10cm and form a circle). Place them on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until pale but golden here and there.
  5. The biscuits should not be hard as they will harden once out of the oven. Let cool. These cookies below are the almond cookies and might I say they are amazing. Try it if you like. Just add two teaspoons of almonds to half a roll.

Notes

Taken from Tessa Kiro's recipe book Venezia Food & Dreams and adapted.

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