Taralli are a biscuit that is eaten by Italians any time of the day. It should be named the national biscotti because taralli are enjoyed by young and old. Wheather it is for breakfast, as a snack, dunked in wine, as a treat for children, they are a biscuit that fills every occasion. They can be found in every bakery, market and in every Italian home. There are many preparations of taralli, but the one here is from the village where my grandparants come from, "Vieste (FG) Italy".
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes @ 375 degrees F
Yield: 5 Dozen
3 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
2 cups semolina flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed, or 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine, warmed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, warmed
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm wine and let it stand for several minutes, then stir it into the wine and mix well. In a large bowl put all the remaining ingredients and your chosen seasoning. Mix and knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return to a clean bowl and cover the dough with plastic wrap or a dampened towel and let it rise for 30 minutes or longer in a warm place.
Divide the dough into pieces. Roll them into 1/2” cylinders. Cut them into 6” lengths. Bring the two ends together and join them to make a round doughnut - like shape. Press your thumb on the ends to seal them.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop the taralli in a few at a time. When the taralli rise to the surface, remove them and put them on a clean towel to dry.
Arrange the boiled taralli on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Note: When crushing the black pepper, do not use a grinder. The finely ground powder from the pepper will make the taralli taste hot. Use only hand crushed pieces.
An old Italian say: "No matter what the argument, it can be resolved with a glass of wine and a handfull of taralli"