The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italy

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turosdolci


In Italy desserts are often flavored with honey, chestnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Cantucci originated in the Tuscany and it is thought that they were flavored with almonds from Prato. They can be found in every pasticceria in the Tuscany. Cantucci are mostly eaten with a glass of “Vin Santo” a sweet wine. Many restaurants serve small almond biscotti with coffee and some will have a bowl of them on the table at all times. It is probably the most well-known and popular biscotti in Italy.


Following is our family recipe for cantucci. Make a full recipe and stored in a metal container, they will last a few weeks. They can be frozen up to two months – they defrost very quickly. You will always have biscotti to serve with coffee when friends drop by. 



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turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


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".


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.


 An old Italian say: "No matter what the argument, it can be resolved with a glass of wine and a handfull of taralli"


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