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Taralli - Italian Bread Rings

(Makes about 6 dozen)
Taralli - Italian Bread Rings
Taralli, often called Italian wine pretzels, are a snack that is common to several regions of southern Italy.  They are often served with wine for dunking but they are also nice as part of an antipasto
Taralli have a texture similar to a pretzel and may be flavored with dried oregano, garlic, fennel seeds, peperoncino, grated pecorino, or salt.  Feel free to add your favorite seasoning.  Taralli are traditionally formed into rings or ovals; some are formed into a loose knot. Similar to the method used to make bagels, taralli are boiled before they are baked.  Baked taralli can be kept in an airtight container for weeks. 

Taralli take a bit of time to make, since it is a multi-step process or rolling, boiling, and baking. 
But the aroma that will fill your home while these are baking is worth all the effort.  And when you take that first crunchy bite, you will be hooked.

Italian “00” flour is recommended in making taralli, as it gives them their characteristically light texture, but all-purpose flour may be used.

1 pkg.(2-1/2 teaspoons) dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
3 cups Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup olive oil


In a bowl, combine the yeast and warm water.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
The mixture will appear to be creamy.

In a large bowl, stir together both flours, fennel seeds, and salt.
Add the yeast mixture, wine, and olive oil.  Stir to form a soft dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Oil a bowl.  Place the dough into the bowl and turn once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and cut into 8 pieces.
Then cut each of the 8 pieces into 9 pieces about the size of a walnut.
Work with one piece at a time. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough until it stretches into a 5-inch long rope. Shape the dough into a ring and pinch the ends together to seal.  Repeat with remaining.

Bring a large pot 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the rings, a few at a time, and cook until they rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a towel to drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the rings on oiled baking sheets.
Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 45 - 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Step-by-Step Photos for Making Taralli
Divide the dough into 8 pieces
and then each piece cut into 9 pieces
Roll and stretch each piece into
a rope 5-inches long by 1/2-inch wide
Shape each rope into a ring; pinch the ends together to seal
Cook the rings in boiling water until
they rise to the top; transfer to a towel to drain
Arrange the cooked rings on oiled baking sheets.  Bake in 350 degree F. oven for 45 to 55 minutes
Golden brown and crisp taralli
Taralli - Italian Bread Rings
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