Black Pepper Taralli
Packaged taralli, available at Italian and gourmet markets, are usually as dry and bland as wood chips. That’s why making your own is so satisfying. These melting little rounds are rich with olive oil and fiery with black pepper — more black pepper than seems possible, or reasonable. If your palate really can't handle heat, use half the amount in the recipe. But if you like chiles, it's fun to be reminded that black peppercorns can also give that delightful burn. The taralli will seem chewy when they come out of the oven, but as they cool and dry out, they will become crumbly, like shortbread. Serve with drinks, preferably something light with a little sweetness, like a rosé, a Champagne cocktail or an Italian Spritz.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ⅓cups plus 1 tablespoon/250 grams semolina flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2cups/250 grams Italian “00” flour or cake flour
- 1tablespoon/15 grams kosher salt
- 3tablespoons/15 grams black pepper, coarsely ground
- ¼teaspoon/1 gram active dry yeast
- ⅞cup/200 milliliters olive oil
- ¾cup/175 milliliters white wine
Step 1In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together dry ingredients. Add oil and half the wine. Use the paddle attachment to mix on medium-low speed for 12 minutes, adding remaining wine occasionally. Dough will be springy and moist but not sticky. If it is sticky, refrigerate 30 minutes and mix again. Add more flour a little bit at a time if needed.
Step 2Heat oven to 375 degrees, or 350 degrees with convection.
Step 3Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners. Pull off a piece of dough (about 1/4 ounce or 8 grams) and roll on a work surface into a 5-inch rope tapered at both ends. Shape into a coil (or a ring, with the ends crossed over) and gently pinch to seal. Transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough, working in batches if necessary. (Can be made up to this point and frozen. Freeze on sheet pans, then transfer to freezer bags for storage. Do not thaw before baking.)
Step 4Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until golden brown. (Add 3 to 5 minutes if baking from frozen.) Cool before serving. Will keep up to a week in a sealed container.