Taralli, like a cracker, bread stick and pretzel all rolled into one, but better. A soft no yeast dough, made with olive oil and white wine. Boiled then baked.
Italians also love to eat Taralli with a glass of wine or why not feel like a native and have a few with a Campari?
I have lived in Italy for over 20 years now and to think that the first time I had one of these crunchy, delicious Italian Taralli was in Canada.
Last summer when I was staying at my sister’s in Toronto, I would take a walk to the mall and do some grocery shopping. I love walking around grocery stores and checking out everything!
While I was picking up some fruit I noticed all those bins lined up full of different types of breads and pretzels.
I noticed something I had never seen before, sorry I did what they have signs saying not to do plastered everywhere, I lost control and nonchalantly grabbed a Taralli
and then I grabbed a bag and bought myself my first and it sure wasn’t my last bag of Taralli.
Where do Taralli Come from?
Good question and hard to answer, since Taralli are in fact prepared all over Italy. But most believe that they originated in the South in Puglia.
When I arrived back at my sister’s I asked her what they were and she said “I think they are Italian”, what? How in heck did I miss these?
And then my daughter confirmed it, they were Italian!
First thing I thought was, If they are good here imagine how delicious they must be in Italy?
As luck would have it I spent a wonderful day having lunch with a couple of lovely Italian women and after telling them my story, what did they do?
Exactly what most older Italian women do. They make them for you!
How to Make Taralli
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and fennel seeds (or add whatever spice you like), then add the olive oil and wine, combine, then move the dough to a flat surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
Let the dough rest 30 minutes covered in a bowl.
Roll out the dough, into 2-2 1/2 inch ropes and join the ends together to form a tear drop shape. Place shaped drops on a clean tea towel.
Add the taralli to a pot of boiling water, a few at a time, they will sink, so when they have resurfaced remove with a slotted spoon and place on the tea towel.
Place the boiled taralli on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Let cool completely before eating.
I also realized that sweetening them up and without the addition of boiling them, they then become sweet wine cookies.
When I got back to Italy and I was visiting with friends, what did my friend bring out but a bag of Italian Taralli! Enjoy!
- 1 cup flour 120 grams
- 2 tablespoons olive oil 30 grams
- 4 tablespoons white wine 60 grams
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 grams
- 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds if desired I'm sure sesame seeds would work too
If dough is too dry than add an extra tablespoon of white wine.
- In a large bowl whisk flour, salt and fennel seeds together, add olive oil and wine combine with a wooden spoon, place on a flat surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, let rest for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 400° (200° celsius)
- Remove dough and roll out into 2-2 1/2 inch ropes and join the ends together to form a tear drop shape. Place shaped drops on a clean tea towel.
- In a large pot of boiling water, add drops a few at a time (depending on the size of the pot) they will sink, so when they have resurfaced remove with a slotted spoon and place on the tea towel. Then move to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- Remove from baking pan and let cool completely before eating. Enjoy!
Recipe can be doubled.
Republished from March 12, 2015.