Taralli biscuits, a staple on every table with the antipasto, Pugliese in nature, infused with wine, use only good olive oil please, grind your pepper fresh, and most important, have time and be patient.
I don’t remember when or where I first tasted these but remember thinking wow, um, good. Flipping through years of ripped out magazine pages this past rainy weekend I stumbled upon an article about Taralli biscuits and decided there is no better time than the present. I learned patience (the dough didn’t want to roll willingly). The end result was worth it as my hubby gave them a thumbs up and polished three quarters of the bag off! They are great on their own but especially good dipped in tapanade or a more decadent option, straight into the pesto!
Taralli Biscuits (makes from 20 – 50 biscuits, depending on your patience level)
1 1/4 cups “00” flour (can be found at most Italian markets, I used the brand above)
1/3 cup semolina flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black, or multi-colored pepper (fine grind)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or finely ground sea salt
pinch of ground thyme
1/3 cup white wine (I used Bonnie Doon California Viognier Light Port because it was open)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
water, for boiling
Measure flour, semolina, sugar, pepper, thyme and salt into a bowl and whisk. Stir in oil and wine. Transfer to a clean surface and knead lightly for a few minutes until smooth.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl on your counter, covered, for an hour.
Bring a stock pot half filled with water to a boil.
Halve the dough, then cut into 6 to 10 pieces. Keep half of dough covered. Roll cut pieces into long ropes on an unfloured surface.
You will be making small circles out of the ropes so cut them into pieces to achive a ring about the size of a US quarter or half dollar. Connect the ropes to form the rings and set aside until you do this with all pieces of dough rope. Cover completed rings with a cloth while you finish all the dough.
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop rings into boiling water. They will float to the surface when ready to remove (about 1 or 2 minutes). Transfer with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet, making sure they do not touch.
Bake until golden, turning sheets half way through (about 35 to 40 minutes, give or take). Remove to a cooling rack. Store in a zip lock bag or airtight container for about 1.5 to 2 weeks.