These crunchy Italian crackers are great to enjoy on their own or accompanied by a warm soup or stew. Make this recipe for your family to snack during the winter holidays.
This recipe is by Jeanmarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 1/2 Cups flour
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
- 1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse salt
Put 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees) into a small bowl.
Stir in yeast and sugar until dissolved. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Cover bowl with a towel.
Let stand in a warm place until the mixture doubles in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Put the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour into a food processor.
Add salt, fennel, crushed red pepper and garlic powder.
Mix everything well.
Scrape the yeast mixture, 2 of the eggs and oil into the food processor.
Process to a smooth mixture.
Run the processor 1 minute more to knead the dough into a smooth ball.
Working on a floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ball.
Cut each dough ball into 8 pieces (or 12 pieces for smaller taralli).
Roll each dough piece into a rope about 4 to 5 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter.
Pinch the two ends of the rope together to form a ring.
Repeat to shape all the dough pieces, placing each on a baking sheet as you work.
Cover with a towel.
Line a tray or work surface with wax paper.
Heat a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to a simmer.
Gently slip about half of the dough rings into the water; don't crowd the pan, the rings should float freely.
Simmer, turning gently with a slotted spoon, 30 seconds.
Remove with a slotted spoon to the wax paper.
Repeat to simmer all the dough rings.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Arrange dough rings on prepared baking sheets in an uncrowded layer.
Beat the remaining egg to mix it.
Brush egg over dough rings.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Bake until richly golden and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Store in a covered tin.