This recipe is from Veneto.
As promised in the last post, here is a recipe for azime dolci, the Venetian jewish cookies I tried in the ghetto at the weekend. Pane azzimo, is the Italian for unleavened bread and these are called azime because they too are unleavened. And like pane azzimo, they are traditionally eaten at passover time when it’s forbidden to eat yeast.
The recipe for azime is quite simple. They are made without water just in case the water and flour start to ferment and cause a natural yeast. So eggs, olive oil, and a little white wine are used to bind the pastry together.
The azime I saw in Venice were shaped with a wooden mould. I used my finger and a form to make the shape of these ones which I think is a good reflection of the ones from the ghetto.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
750g (3 cups) plain flour
300g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
60g (2 ounces) fennel seeds
250ml (1 cup) olive oil
50ml (1/5 cup) white wine
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (355° F)
- Mix the flour, sugar, and fennel seeds in a bowl until combined.
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the eggs, olive oil, and wine. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a dough and then bring it together with your hands to form a ball.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it’s about 1cm (1/2 inch thick).
- Cut the dough into circles using a 12cm cookie cutter.
- Flatten the circles with the palm of your hand, prick with a fork, and then make indentations all around the edge of the biscuits with your finger.
- Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
16 thoughts on “Azime dolci: Venetian passover cookies (recipe)”
These look lovely!
They’re completely moreish! I just had one for breakfast … 🙂
There is a traditional New Mexico cookie called a biscochito that has anise seeds for flavor. These remind me of them. It is always fascinating to see all the connection points between different cultures and backgrounds. Thank you for another wonderful post.
They look perfect and the photo is real stunning! Great job!
Thank you! I’ve discovered a corner of my house where the light it stunning. Almost like Caravaggio! 🙂
How do you think these would work out as “crackers”–removing the sugar? Sort of like flattening the dough used for tarallini.
Probably well but you’d need to add a little salt or they’d be terribly bland.
I love how they can’t have water for fear of natural yeast, but a little white wine is totally fine… Whichever way these look GORGEOUS, thanks for sharing!
A little wine is always totally fine 😃 Glad you like the post!
Reblogged this on Kathy Gates.
BEAUTIFUL photos Luca, such fabulous lighting and absolutely stunning looking Easter biscuits too……very seductive! Thanks for linking to Cooking with Herbs for March, Karen
Thanks Karen. I found a new winter light spot in the house which is quite atmospheric. My pleasure. I’m glad I found the link up and thanks for hosting it.
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A friend of mine posted a picture of these cookies on Facebook during a trip to the Venetian ghetto. He didn’t know the name of the cookie but I researched it and luckily came to your blog with your recipe. It was the *only* one I could find. I wondered if you might know where I could get the wooden molds? No luck finding any here in the States. Thanks so much for your history, gorgeous photography, and recipes. I’m loving your blog!
Thank you! I’m so glad the blog was helpful. They are not really known outside Venice which accounts for the lack of info. For the moulds, I have no idea really. Perhaps the Jewish bakers in the ghetto have their own they pass down. I made mine using a pastry cutter, my fingers, and a fork. You can make some pretty patterns that way.
Hello Luca, Just a follow-up to my comment above. I made these cookies for my friends who inspired me to make them after their trip to Venice (using your recipe only slightly adapted — more anise, less fennel, etc.) and they said they were actually *better* than the cookies they had in Venice. I love the molds, but since I can’t find them, I ended up using a tiny teardrop cookie cutter arranged in a circle instead of fork pricks, and crimped the edges, and they look amazing that way. Not too much extra work, but no mold needed.