Make your own Bussolai di Burano Venetian biscuits!

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Beautiful Burano, taken by my husband when we visited.

If you have read one of my previous posts, Two Days In Venice, you will have heard of bussolai di Burano. They’re yummy Venetian biscuits that are great with a rich Italian espresso! Well, I made some this week and wanted to share the recipe with you.

It is tempting to play around with this dough as it is very mouldable and like no other dough I have come across! I like it. Alas, as with perhaps more familiar shortbread recipes, it’s important that you resist handling the dough too much, or the biscuits will spread and lose their shape in the oven. If your kitchen is particularly hot, keep the dough you’re not working with in the fridge to keep it cool. The biscuits are shaped by rolling the dough by hand into S and O shapes, so try and work quickly and not fiddle with the dough too much. If you have particularly hot hands, you can run them under cold water every so often to cool them down – but make sure you dry your hands before handling the dough again.

I searched around and read many different recipes for bussolai di Burano, and eventually settled on this recipe and amended it to suit the ingredients I had in my kitchen.  

You will need:

60g (about 3) egg yolks – defrosted frozen egg yolks work well
125g caster sugar
100g melted butter
zest of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
220g plain flour
2 tbsp corn flour

Lined baking trays (I used 3)

Makes 20


1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until moussey, and then add the melted butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt.

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2. Sieve the flours together and then add them to the egg mixture. Mix into a soft dough, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for an hour to firm up.

3. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces, and roll each piece one by one into a sausage shape. Transfer the sausage onto a baking tray and bend either into an S shape or a ring. 

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4. Once all the biscuits are formed, place the baking trays into the fridge for another half hour. At this point, turn the oven on to preheat to 170 C (350 F, gas mark 3-4).

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5. Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through to ensure even baking. Remove the biscuits from the oven before they start browning, but make sure they are holding their shape and aren’t squishy.

6. Cool on a wire rack and see how long they last!

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The finished biscuits. 

I sent the biscuits into work with my husband to give our Venetian friend M a taste of home! He said they were delicious and very authentic, which is quite an accolade. If you give them a go let me know how it went – I hope you find them delicious!


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