Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bread Baking Babes fare il pane Taralli Pugliese!

Everyone who knows me knows that I want to be Italian when I grow up. I think it is the most beautiful language and the food!!! heavenly. But the closest I have come so far is memorizing Moonstruck and small Italian phrases from David Rocco's Dolce Vita, and I don't think that qualifies me as a true Italian.Sigh.

But if I don't have Italian in my blood, I can at least have it on my serving platter this holiday. In the form of cute little breadsticks that look a little like mini petrified bagels and go great with rich cheeses and cured meats. Ilva challenged the Babes to this fun Italian cocktail nibblie this month. Give it a try!

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 Ilva the link (luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com, please write Bread Baking Buddy in the subject line) and she will send you the Buddy Badge and include you in the Buddy roundup too! She has 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
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!

*Use the wine, and the fennel! (I did both wine and egg) They give great flavour. I needed a little extra wine and a little extra time in the oven for mine. 

The Bread Baking Babes

These Taralli have been Yeastspotted!