“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

James Beard (1903-1985)

Monday, December 27, 2010

BBB - Taralli Pugliese

These girls sure know how to find great recipes. After a heavy Christmas baking session with cinnamon, sugar, candied fruits, almond paste, more sugar, chocolate and did I mention sugar, I am ready for something simple, savory and cleansing to the palate.

Ilva from Lucullian Delights is this month´s host for the Bread Baking Babes. She chose an Italian specialty called taralli pugliese, a crunchy, crispy dough ring to munch on. Perfect!

The recipe calls for fennel seeds but since I don´t have access to any, I chose fresh rosemary. Works great as well, especially with the olive oil.

Taralli Pugliese
adapted from Anna Maria Gostti Della Salda's monumental food bible "Le ricette regionali italiane"

4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of tepid water
2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, minced (or 2 heaping teaspoons of any other favorite, Ilva uses fennel seeds)
1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs, beaten

Dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup of tepid water. Mix the yeast water with the lightly whisked eggs and the olive oil. Mix flour, rosemary and salt and then add the liquid. Start working the dough and continue to add small amounts of tepid water until you have a firm but pliable dough.

Start rolling 2 inch long ropes that are as thick as your little finger and pinch the ends together to make an oval. Put the taralli on a parchment paper, cover with a towel and leave them to rest about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 390°F.

While the taralli rest, bring a large pan with water to a boil. Put 3 to 4 taralli at a time in the simmering water and when they surface, remove them with a skimmer and put them to dry on a kitchen towel or a rack.

Put them on baking sheets covered with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. They should be lightly tanned and dry to the touch. Try one to see if it´s fully baked and not still raw on the inside! You want to have a crunchy bite, inside and out, not chewy like a bagel.

Place them on a cooling rack to cool, then try not to eat them all at once.... I made these this afternoon and at first, everyone present found them a little blah..."they could use a bit more salt", "I would have liked more rosemary" etc etc. But not even fifteen minutes later, they were all gone. Ha! These little bagel-esque taralli will surprise you with their simplicity.


  1. Pugliese looks beautiful Nicole. Happy holidays to you.I need to try this recipe.

  2. perfect taralli Nicole, thanks for baking with us!

  3. They do get everyones opinion but get crunched away in no time! Looking good Nicole!

  4. Swathi, thank you for your encouragement, and happy holidays to you too!

    Lien, thank you, I love baking with you girls!

    Oznayim, they do look like bagels, don´t they! But the large amount of olive oil in the dough, the small size of the oval shaped taralli (they´re not bigger than my pinkie) and the crunchy bite makes it a very different product. It´s more like a crunchy, inside and out, breadstick, nothing like a chewy bagel at all.

    Baking Soda, they do! They didn´t last at all and I´m contemplating baking another batch soon :-)

  5. I'm late but here I am, thank you so much for joining us, I'm happy you liked them!

  6. I agree with your addition of rosemary to the bread - I often add freshly chopped rosemary to rolls and the slightly medicinal flavour of the herbs highlights the natural sweetness of the bread. This is a lovely appetiser - perfect for sharing.

  7. Lovely tarali! Rosemary sounds delicious in them.
    Thanks so much for baking with us!

  8. I can't believe I missed seeing your beautiful Taralli until now! I bet the rosemary was wonderful. I can't wait until late spring now so I'll be able to get some fresh rosemary from the garden.