Bread Baking Babes in December – Taralli Pugliesi
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
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!