Taralli is one component of stuzzichini in the Puglia region of Italy. Stuzzichini are what we commonly refer to as antipasto. The first course of an Italian meal that consists of bread, cheese, olives and cured meats. Instead of the more common Italian breads, this unleavened version is super easy to make and closer to a bagel with its chewy texture and crispy exterior. I have seen both this version as well as a version made with yeast. If you are like me and in no mood to spend your afternoon in a hot kitchen in the middle of summer, go with this faster method. However, for a more traditional version, I plan on trying the ones made with yeast in the fall when the temperatures cool down.
They are made in both sweet and savory versions. While the sweet versions are often glazed with sugar, the savory versions can be flavored with garlic, poppy seed, onion, black pepper, sesame seeds, chili or fennel seed.
Although the dough is made with white wine, they are still often dunked in white wine as they are eaten.
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and fennel seed.
Add olive oil and wine. Stir to combine and knead for 2-3 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured board, pinch off walnut pieces of dough and roll into a rope. Form into a ring, pressing the edges together to seal. Cover with a damp towel as you make all the rings.
Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add the rings and boil for about 1 minute, until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to dry.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Flip over and bake another 5 minutes.
You can also use whole fennel seed.
Eat it as they do in Puglia, dipping it in white wine.
It’s a scrumptious snack. The wine in the dough gives it the fermented flavor without the yeast. It’s got the taste and texture of a bagel, but without all that extra doughiness.