Blog :: Ramblings of a health nut

The Tale of the Last Taralli

Posted on 10 Nov 2013 by maisha (posted in: blogs)

I have my mom to thank for this discovery. Without her I would be missing out on this amazing flaky, crunchy, ring of carboliciousness.
You see, when we were in Italy, visiting family, my mom decided on making soup. While picking up her ingredients in the supermarket, she grabbed a pack of taralli, thinking they were some kind of soup sticks (or loops). After dunking a few in her soup, she said they were tasteless and useless soup sticks, as they didn't soften at all. Intrigued by this comment, I grabbed a few taralli and started munching. 'Mom, these are amazing!,' and I kept on grabbing more. My mom sighed: 'You and your carbs! You've always loved eating the driest starchiest stuff'.
The next day I bought four packs of taralli to take home...

But four packs of taralli will only get you so far. Perhaps a week, if you have incredible self-restraint. So as my taralli supply dwindled, I panicked. Must have more.
And then I did the best thing ever! I made my own taralli ^^


Taralli are the pretzels of Italy. And they're made in a similar fashion: by boiling a yeast dough and then baking them. Except in the case of taralli, you want to bake them until crisp and dry. The ingredients list is short and simple: flour, (extra virgin) olive oil, white wine, and salt. If you want to make them a little more fancy, you can expand this list with dried herbs such as rosemary or fennel, and cracked black pepper.

Homemade Taralli (makes 70)

This recipe makes roughly 90 small taralli. I made about 40 small taralli and 30 larger ones.
Nutritional value per taralli (based on 70 total):


Ingredients


  • 500 g organic all-purpose flour
  • 100 g semolina
  • 400 g organic spelt flour, 100% whole grain
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs mix (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper mix
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 360 mL (1.5 c) organic dry white wine
  • 180 mL (.75 c) organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 g dry yeast



Method


  1. Mix the yeast with the white wine and let stand at room temperature while you prepare the rest.
  2. Add the remaining dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your KitchenAid) and mix until evenly distributed.
  3. Add the white wine and olive oil to the flour and mix on low speed until dough comes together. Keep on mixing for another 5 minutes until dough is supple and elastic.
  4. Let the dough stand covered at room temperature until doubled in size (about 2 hours). I let mine stand for 1 hour and then transferred it to the fridge to let it rise overnight.
  5. Divide dough in two and roll each portion into a flat rectangle (no more than 0.5 cm/0.2 inch thick). Cut rectangle in half lengthwise and then divide each rectangle half into strips (less than 1 cm/ 0.4 inch wide). Roll each strip to create a rope of dough and form into a loop.
  6. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Place taralli in boiling water (four to six per time, depending on the size of your pan). The taralli will sink. When they float to the surface, remove them using a slotted spoon to drain as much water as you can.

  7. Place the boiled taralli on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake taralli in a preheated oven (180°C fan-forced/ 350°F) until brown and completely dry (about 40 minutes for the smaller ones, longer for the larger ones). Try one to be sure. If it needs more time, lower the temperature and leave them in longer.
  9. Let them cool down completely and try not to eat them all ;-)


 

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