Recipe for Taralli Scaldati Col Finocchio (Taralli With Fennel Seeds)


2 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
1 cup dry white wine, warmed
1/2 cup olive oil
3 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds -=or=-
2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns


Stir yeast into the warmed wine & let proof for 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil & add then add the flour, salt, fennel/pepper. Mix until the dough comes together, knead on a lightly floured board for 5 to 7 minutes, the presence of the olive oil should prevent it from sticking. Knead until the dough is smooth & responsive. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover & let rise until puffy but not doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Break off ap iece of dough the size of a lime & roll it between your palms & fingers to form a rope 18" long & as thin as a breadstick. Let each one rest while you roll out the rest (about 12 in all). Cut each piece into 6" lengths & conect their ends to form rings about 2" in diameter. Press the ends together very firmly; pinch as tighly as necessary, the dough will recover. Set the rings on oiled baking sheets, cover & let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F & bring a pot of water to a boil. When risen, plunge the taralli into the boiling water, a few at a time, immersing them only until they bob to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon & drain on paper towels. Let them cool slightly. Bake on oiled baking sheets for about 20 to 24 minutes, until they are crunchy.

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