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Italian Recipe: Taralli Crackers

If you ask us, taralli are delicious, buttery bites of heaven. They hail from southern Italy, but there's no need to travel all the way over there to try them yourself. It's a little tricky to describe them, but we 'll do our best: taralli are like a cracker/breadstick/chewy bread roll hybrid; thick and crunchy, but still light and airy. Sound impossible? Make them, and you'll see what we mean!

You can find these crackers on the table before dinner in many Italian households, or at the bar duringaperitivo (a little like happy hour). Boy, are they tasty! We will warn you: it's scientifically impossible to eat only one, but as long as you know what you're getting yourself into, you're good to go!

Taralli

5-7 dozen, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm, dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a large bowl or mixer (or on a large, flat work surface), mix together the flour and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, water and white wine, then pour it into flour mixture.
  3. Using a dough hook attachment or your hands, knead mixture until dough comes together. 5-8 minutes.
    Note: If dough is too dry, add 1-2 teaspoons of water until dough is smooth.
  4. Cover the dough with a clean towel and let rest 20 minutes.
  5. Bit by bit, tear off walnut-sized chunks of dough and roll them into a 4×1/2-inch thick rope.
  6. Form dough into a ring, crossing the edges and pressing lightly to seal them together.
  7. Repeat with remaining taralli and set aside, covered by a clean towel.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to boil and, once all the taralli have been made, place them in the boiling water. Don't overcrowd them.
  10. Cook for 30-60 seconds, or until taralli float to the surface, then use a slotted spoon to transfer crackers to a dish towel to drain.
  11. Transfer taralli to baking sheet(s) and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until browned on one side.
  12. Remove tray from oven, flip taralli over and bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Anita's Italy

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