The Fresh Loaf

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Anyone have a recipe for Italian Pepper Biscuits?

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LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

Anyone have a recipe for Italian Pepper Biscuits?

Hi all - I'm new at this but I am looking for a recipe for Italian Pepper Biscuits - I used to live in Astoria NY where there was this great Italian Bread shop and they always had them - I have retired to the Philippines and as you can imagine - I can't find anything like them here.  This is more like a twice baked bread - done in the style of a biscotti - baked once then cut into slices and baked again - not sweet and does not have anylthing but lots of cracked black pepper!  I have been searching (on the net) for days now and can not find anything that sounds close.  Anyone out there know what I am talking about and have a recipe?  Thanks in advance, Louis


 

joem6112's picture
joem6112

In Mary Anne Esposito's cook book "Ciao Italia" there is a recipe for pepper biscuits.


Be sure it's "Ciao Italia-Traditional Italian Recipies From Family Kitchens" copyright 1991 because she has a series of books that are titled Ciao Italia (etc)

LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

Wouldn't you know it - I have 5 of her books but that is not one of them.  I'll check the book stores today - I love most of her recipes anyway.

Martellaro's picture
Martellaro

Mema called them Strudels ...

Made with Egg, flour, pepper and little bit of crisco Fried on the stove top. Send email address if you need the recipe. Recipe from the Naples Italy area.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Are "Taralli" what you mean?  They are ring-shaped, and have a hard-pretzel sort of texture, which can be flavored w/ black pepper, sometimes fennel seed, and there are sweet versions as well.  Even if yours weren't ring-shaped, you can use the dough to make one big log and then slice them and re-bake them as you would for biscotti.


You can start a recipe search here.  Just scroll down about a quarter of the way from the header, and find the article on Taralli.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/


But you can find all sorts of recipes just by Googling "Taralli."  Giuliano Bugialli also had a recipe for them in his book Foods of Italy, I think.


Are you a paysan?


--Dan DiMuzio

LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

It is not the Taralli that I am looking for.  They are also good - this one is more like a toasted bread and most Taralli, that I remember from my 5 years in Italy, have fennel seed in them.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

I think it might be great if somebody here started a blog at TFL that's devoted solely to Italian baking.  Might be that it becomes a primary go-to for bakers wanting hard-to-find info.  I've got to start a blog elsewhere for another project, but if anyone else here has the time and the experience, I'd encourage them to think about it.  I know I'd be a regular visitor.


--Dan DiMuzio

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

Not all taralli are made with fennel. One recipe that I feature in http://my.nowpublic.com/style/egg-taralli-biscotti-floats-air are only made with egg and in our biscotti business we also make them with only black pepper or red pepper flakes which is the way they make them in the village where my grandparents game from Vieste Foggia.  However, I am going to do some research to see if I can find what your looking for.  I shop in Como Italy every few weeks and maybe I can ask in some of the bakeries there also.


Can you tell me where in Italy you had this?  This might help in finding the recipe.

LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

I did lived in Italy, San Vito area - I don't remember if I ever had what I'm looking for there... I used to travel to Como also but I don''t remember seeing them there either.



When I lived in NY - Astoria, Queens area where there was an Italian Bread shop that had these all the time. Now that I am living in the Philippines I can't find 'em, would not expect to find them here...LOL - anyway I just wanted to try to make them myself. May family always made Taralli for Easter - the boiled then baked type - my mom's had a lot of red wine and oil in them - but this is not the consistency I am looking for - they truly are a baked bread biscuit - they are the shape of a standard Italian sweet twice baked biscotti, but are more like toasted bread.

Amori's picture
Amori

Here's a recipe from a friend of mine, in her family they are shaped as twists [tiny] hope is closer to what you're looking for, they are golden and yummy =-)


1 cup olive oil, extra virgin
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, hand mix olive oil, water, salt, black pepper, and fennel seed. Add baking powder and flour. Mix until well blended and a dough begins to forms. Lightly work the dough with your hands until the texture is oily and smooth. If the dough is too sticky, then mix in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour at a time, until smooth.

Using your hands, pinch off a 2-tablespoon size piece of dough. Roll the dough between lightly floured hands. Roll into a thin cigar shape that is approximately 8 inches long. Form a U shape, then criss-cross the pieces until a braid forms. Place 15 biscuits per baking sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with egg wash. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating pans mid-way through. Biscuits should have a golden color and be crisp on the bottom. Remove from oven and place on a cookie rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container up to 4 weeks. {30}

LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

I will give this a try, but I am sure it is more like a bread (yeast) dough less like the traditional Taralli using baking powder.

joem6112's picture
joem6112

That's the one In Mary Ann's book, a yeast dough

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

Many taralli are made with yeast and some just with eggs. The Easter Taralli are made with lots of eges.  My recipe is shown on http://nowpublic.com.  Look under style and Patricia Turo.  You will find them there. Also my recipe for Pulgian taralli also boiled and baked are on my blog http://turosdolci.wordpress.com. I also ahve a red wine recipe.  But I travel all over Italy and I've not seen what you are desccribing here.  I will keep an eye open for them however and if I find them I'll let you know.  It is too bad you don't remember what they were called because there a lot of web sites on the net (in Italain) where you could have looked them up.


Anyway I suggest that you try the taralli listed and see if they come close in flavor to what to you looking for that might be the best you can do.


By the way most taralli are not sweet and don't have sugar in them. They are more in the biscuit catagory rather then in the biscotti catagory, however in Italy they are all called biscotti.

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

Thanks Dan DiMuzio for recommending my recipe. There are many different recipes for taralli, some with black pepper, red pepper flakes, fennel or just egg etc. Some made with beer or wine, some boiled and baked or just baked. My recipe on http://turosdolci.wordpress.com (Piacere - Food & Travel without rules!) is just one of them. Another is also written on http://nowpublic.com where I wrote an article about Egg taralli and the recipe can be found there. They are a biscuit made in a oval shape and are eaten by everyone any time of the day in Italy.  They are often dipped in wine. They have a long shelf life if stored well.  Please read my blog for a rather easy recipe.  There are recipes for pizza dough, Pizza Rustica and I will be listing other pizza recipes in the future. 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


We have a boscotti business in Massachusetts, USA (http://pturo.com) and this is one of my family recipes from Vieste Foggia. You can leave out the fennel. As you can see this uses flour and semolina, yeast and are boiled and then baked. 

Puglian Taralli
Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes @ 375 degrees F
Yield: 5 Dozen



Dry Ingredients


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


WET INGREDIENTS


1 cup dry white wine, warmed


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, warmed


DOUGH


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.


ASSEMBLY


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.


BOILING


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.


BAKE


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.


 


 


lthornb's picture
lthornb

My husband's grandfather, from Italy used to make a black pepper bagel type bread.  It was started with potato water.  Risen over night. and fried in oil like a donut.  Very chewy texture.  It was traditionally made for Easter. It is outrageous with ham.  I am looking for this recipe as there is no one in the family who has it or can make these. 

audreykels's picture
audreykels

I am looking for the same recipe, they are not the same as Taralli.   You can still find them in some Italian stores they are called  fu-zel-li or friz-zel-lini  depending on where you get them  (I'm not sure of the spelling) they are not listed on the internet


 

joem6112's picture
joem6112

BING gave no responses but Google did. It's spelled FRISELLE.


Google will present various sites with recipes


Now I have a  taste for them. One of my favorites

LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

http://www.recipelink.com/cookbooks/1999/0452278813_1.html looks like a good bet.  The ones I used to buy were a different shape but this sure does sound like what I was looking for.  Can't wait to try it now!  Thanks again for everybody for your input.  Louis

glutine's picture
glutine

Hello, I am a new Italian member.
The Friselle or Freselle, are a typical product of Southern Italy (in particular, the Puglia region).


But I never heard about the presence of the pepper in Freselle recipe.
Are you talking about this kind of Freselle: http://www.gennarino.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15194&hilit=friselle?

farina22's picture
farina22

Benvenuto a questo posto. E una communita splendida. Da dove sei?

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci

I have a recipe on my blog.  Hope it is what you are looking for.


 


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/taralli-a-italian-national-biscotti/

LouisDeMa's picture
LouisDeMa

What I am really looking for is an Italian Pepper Biscuit! An old Italian bakery back in Queens, NYC where I used to live made them and I loved 'em (the shape was like a biscuit not a beagle)! I am now retired in the Philippines and would like to make them myself. This recipe for Freselle looks to be the correct type of 'toast' but is lacking the black pepper. I am gonna give it a try and see if it is what I am looking for. I always thought they were twice baked just like a biscuit. Although I am of Italian decent and did live in Italy for about 5 years, my Italian is not all that great so reading the blog is not all that easy for me...LOL. Anyway thanks again for all the input. Ciao, Louis

cliffgarz's picture
cliffgarz

i know exactly what you are talking about. We used to get them at the bakeries in New Haven, CT.  They are twice baked, I will see if I can find my recipe for them I used to have one but they never seemed to turn out like what I could get in New haven.  Check out his link and scroll down to pepper friselle


 


Cliff

Debbe1's picture
Debbe1

 


 

cliffgarz's picture
cliffgarz


Traditional Italian Pepper Biscotti


This is the way they are made in the Italian bakeries in New Haven.


Makes 30 biscotti


1 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 heaping teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons fennel seed

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour


1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.


In a large bowl, hand mix olive oil, water, salt, black pepper, and fennel seed. Add baking powder and flour. Mix until well blended and a dough begins to forms. Lightly work the dough with your hands until the texture is oily and smooth. If the dough is too sticky, then mix in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour at a time, until smooth.


Roll into a Bagguette shape that is approximately 8 inches long. Brush tops of biscotti with egg wash. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating pans mid-way through. Biscotti should have a golden color and be crisp on the bottom. Remove from oven and place on a cookie rack to cool completely.  Slice the biscotti with a serrated knife by gently sawing in a back-and-forth motion to avoid breaking the cookies. Then place slices on their sides back on the baking sheets. Now either bake them in a heated oven again for 10-to 20 minutes or turn off the heat and let the biscotti stay inside the warm oven from 30--60 minutes. The longer they stay, the harder they will become. Cool biscotti completely before storing in an air-tight container, preferably a tin, which helps keep them crisp. Stored properly, biscotti will last up to a month


 Biscotti should be stored in an airtight tin container (preferably tin to maintain their crispness) and kept in a cool area, such as a cupboard. Properly stored, they should last up to one month


cliffgarz's picture
cliffgarz

here is a picture from the last batch


friselle.jpg

Rosas Yummy Yums's picture
Rosas Yummy Yums

Hi,


Some time ago I made ITALIAN WINE BISCUITS WITH BLACK PEPPER. I used the King Arthur Flour recipe that follows:


http://rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com/2010/05/italian-wine-biscuits-biscuits-au-vin.html


I hope you'll like it!


 


Cheers,


 


Rosa

mredwood's picture
mredwood

Sounds wonderful. I too grew up in Astoria but never had this bread. I would love an italian component to this web site but I probably never get any rest. 


By the way to hear someone is from Astoria is such a kick. I was brought up there also. The Astoria Park was my park and my pool. Just tonight I was trying to remember a part of Astoria that my grandpop had his store in. I think it was Astoria Square that was actually a triangle. It was near Mt. Carmel church. Does anyone know of this area. On the corner was a drug store. Emil Pape's I think. Then pops store, the hardware store. This is how I got my first mixer ordered out of a catalog when I was 12. Now the really important  part. Next to the hardware store was a beer garden. They had a giant brick oven on the side in the back. It was hot. They made pizza there. I used to sneak over and peek around the corner just to watch the baker. Oh what a wonder and delight that was. I wonder if that building still stands or at least the pizza oven. Can't remember the name or I would look it up on google earth. That is a kick to go back to the old homeland and have a look around. 


Sorry for the long post not on bread. If anybody has info for me could you let me know through a personal message. Been very busy lately and hard to keep up. I wouldn't want to miss it. 


Thank you


Mariah


 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Are these eaten as a starchy snack? Is anything put on them? Are they particluarly delicious with any special accompaniments?I am looking for some savory biscotti and this looks very interesting.

d_a_kelly's picture
d_a_kelly

I can see that this post is a little on the old side,  but I thought I'd make a contribution. I first had freselle when I was living in a little village on the Campania / Puglia border. They are often used to make bruschette. They are baked twice (and very possibly sun-dried as well) and are teeth-shatteringly hard :). You've got to wet them either in water (healthy but a bit boring) or olive oil (yum) before using. I've never seen them or heard of them containing pepper - that definitely sounds like taralli to me. Freselle are easy enough to make at home - I don't think there's anything particularly special about the recipe. Here's how I make them:

 

all measurements in grams and temps in centigrade - 

strong flour 375 (I like mine wholegrain, so I use 100 strong white, and 175 wholegrain)

water 225

dried yeast 5

salt 7

malt 2 (this can be left out if you don't have any powdered malt - I doubt it forms part of the traditional recipe)

 

When the dough has doubled in size, form 3 balls of c.200g each. Stick you thumb through the middle and form a hoop (like making a bagel). They grow quite a bit, so make a decent sized hole. Let them prove again for about 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes at 200C. When oven spring is finished and they've started to form a drust, take them out of the oven. Lower oven temp to 160C. Slice them in half so that they look like the image above and then put them back in the oven for another 30 mins. At this point I usually turn the oven off and leave them in there until the oven cools down. And that's it! They're done. If you don't want them as crunchy as that all you need to do is take them out of the oven a little earlier. 

 

David