Bread Baking Babes in December – Taralli Pugliesi


It’s time for December month’s Bread Baking Babe bread and this month I had the honour of choosing what to bake. I did a lot of thinking and looking around and decided to go for something that has nothing to do with Christmas at all because a) it can get too much of that anyway and b) not everyone in this world celebrate Christmas so why impose our Christian traditions on our global blog and blog reading community? Instead I am proposing an Apulian bread that me and my family are crazy about especially when made with peperoncino! Taralli is what we are going to bake in December and I hope you will like them as much as I do. Taralli are small snack like bread rings that are baked in a way similar to bagels but the outcome is completely different as you will see if you don’t already know them. Anyway, this recipe calls for fennel seeds but do try the peperoncino version where you add peperoncino/chili oil to the dough. Or you can just make them plain. I have also had taralli with rosemary so there are a lot of things to do if you feel like experimenting.


If I were you, I would take a trip around the other BBBabes blogs to see their Taralli because I have seen some beautiful examples already and I also think that they have a few tips to share with you. Just remember that some of them are not even awake yet and probably will post later on today. Here you find a list of them all!
If you too want to bake Taralli ( you do, don’t you?) and want to be a Bread Baking Buddy, bake, blog about it and send me the link (luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com, please write Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line) and I will send you the Buddy Badge and include you in the Buddy roundup too! I have set the deadline to the 29th of December so you have the time to make the taralli in case you are too busy before Christmas but you can obviously post it any date before that.


adapted from Anna Maria Gostti Della Salda’s monumental food bible Le ricette regionali italiane

1 kg/ 2,2 lb flour, I think she intends AP flour
200 g/ 7 oz extra-virgin olive oil
tepid water
50 g/ 1,75 oz fennel seeds, optional as you already know
12,5 g/ 0,45 oz (or more if it is cold in your kitchen) fresh yeast and about 5 g/ 0,176 oz instant yeast (they say)
1 tsp salt
2 eggs or the equivalent of dry white wine

Dissolve the yeast in 2 tblsp of tepid water. Mix the yeast water with the lightly whisked eggs and the olive oil.

Mix flour, fennel seeds 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 10-12 cm/ 2-2,5 in 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.

Turn on the oven to 200°C/390°F.

While the taralli rest, bring a biggish pan with water to the boil.

Dump 3-4 taralli at a time in the simmering water and when they surface, take them up 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 but it is best to try them so that they are properly baked, we don’t want them to be soft in the middle!