Fennel Seed Taralli

This recipe comes straight from friends in Puglia and so the weight measurement of the olive oil may seem a bit unusual but trust me it works! This recipe yields about 200 taralli so feel free to cut these measurements in half to make a smaller amount

1 kilo 00 flour (you can use all purpose white flour if you can’t find the Italian 00 flour) 20 grams fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds or more to taste
250 grams extra virgin olive oil 150 ml dry white wine 50 ml Sambuca liqueur

Place the flour, salt and fennel seeds in a bowl and mix to combine. Make a well and add in the olive oil, wine and Sambuca. Using a fork mix the flour into the liquid until a rough dough forms and the ingredients are well combined.

Turn the dough out onto a wooden or marble board and knead for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. The consistency of the dough is firmer and more compact than bread dough.

Once kneaded wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

When you are ready to start forming the taralli divide the dough into small pieces weighing 7 to 8 grams each and with the palm of your hand or both hands roll into long “sticks” about 8 to 10 cm long and about 1 cm thick. After rolling out each “stick”, join the ends using gentle pressure to form a circle or a drop shape. Place the formed taralli on a baking sheet lined with a clean cloth and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a few tablespoons of salt. Remove the taralli one at a time from the cloth, give a gentle pinch to ensure that the two ends of the dough are securely closed and add to the boiling water, up to 15 at one time. Give a gentle stir to the water once the taralli have been added to ensure the don’t stick to the bottom of the pot or each other. It should take about 2 minutes for the taralli to float to the surface.

As soon as the taralli float to the top of the boiling water use a slotted spoon to remove them to another baking sheet lined with a clean cloth. Continue to boil the taralli in batches and remove to the cloth-lined tray to dry.

Once the taralli have dried for a minute or two on the cloth they can be transferred to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and baked in an oven preheated to 205 C (400 degrees F) for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Remove the taralli from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to allow to cool before serving.

Makes approximately 200 taralli.