We had taralli of all different shapes and sizes in Italy but no matter the look, they were always highly addictive and ideal with a glass of wine or cold beer. The fennel seeds can be replaced with cracked black pepper or chilli flakes, if desired.
4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons table salt
¼ cup fennel seeds
1 cup dry white wine
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and fennel seeds. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wine and olive oil. Use a fork to work the wet ingredients into the dry, then use your hands to press the mixture into a dough. Place dough on a lightly floured bench and knead for 10–15 minutes until smooth. Cover dough and rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Tear off walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll into a thin sausage shape – approximately 10cm long and 5mm wide but don’t be too fussy about the size, the more rustic the better. Loop dough into a circle, overlapping the ends and gently press to seal.
Using 6 or 7 at a time, drop taralli into boiling water and let them cook until they rise to the surface – this should take around 60 seconds. If some of the taralli become stuck to the bottom of the pot, give them a gentle nudge with a wooden spoon to release them. Once floating, remove the taralli with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on a cloth.
Once cool, place taralli on the prepared trays and bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer taralli to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 25 biscuits.