Traditional Taralli Recipe from Puglia - Italian Connection (2024)

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Ingredients Cooking Directions FAQs

When traveling on our walking tour through Puglia, the “heel of the boot” of Italy, food is everywhere. Beneath majestic olive trees, there are fields of red earth planted with vegetables, and the nightair smells like celery. Long expanses of wheat fields produce the local flour used in excellent crusty bread, and then there are the raucous fish markets, teeming with wriggling sea creatures. And we haven’t begun to get to the exquisitely creamy burrata cheese, the oh-so-sweet tomatoes, or the heady Primitivo wine, thus named because it describes your ability to make a sentence after a few glasses.

On one occasion, while traveling through Puglia with friends, we stopped in a bar inMartina Franca to have an aperitivo, and the waiter asked if we wanted stuzzichini – appetizer snacks – with our drinks. When we said yes, out came bowls of soft bocconcini of mozzarella, plump green olives, oven-baked black olivesflecked withhot pepper, bits of salami, tiny one-bite pizzette, pickled lampascioni, sun-dried tomatoes, and crunchy taralli, spiced with fennel seeds and black pepper.

In other words, a meal for most people. When we commented to the waiter about how this couldsuffice asdinner, he laughed and said, “Only if you aren’t pugliese.” And so, wanting to fit in with the locals, we headed off to dinner. We found more taralli in the breadbasket at dinner, and they became our addiction during the trip.

Munching ontaralli will just be one of the many things we’ll be tasting on our Puglia Walk , but since that is months away, I decided to make a batch at home. You’ll find my complete taralli recipe at the end of this post, but here are the basics:

Taralli are quite simple to make, with an unleavened dough of flour, salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and white wine. You can leave the dough plain or spice it with fennel seeds or cracked black pepper.

Take walnut-sized pieces of dough and shape into thin ropes about 5 inches (10 cm) long, then bring the ends together to form a ring. It’s okay if they look like a teardrop.

Next, the rings are briefly cooked in a pot of boiling water until they float to the surface, then removed with a slotted spoon and left to cool and dry on a clean cloth.

Place the tarallion a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until the taralli are golden brown. Cool on a rack and serve with an aperitivo – drink the rest of that white wine you used to make the dough – or fill a breadbasket and serve at dinner.

Read more about where we’ll be going on our Puglia Walk,an easy walking tour with fabulous food!

Read similar stories:

Alberobello, the Trullo Town in Puglia

The Mysteries of Lampascioni

Wild Asparagus Walk in Sicily

Prep Time:1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time:30 minutes

Total Time:1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield:About 100 taralli

Serving Size:Unlimited!


  • 4 cups (1 lb, 500 grams)flour
  • 1 tsp (10 grams)salt
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml)extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (200 ml)dry white wine
  • optional spices:
  • 1-2 tspfennel seeds or cracked black pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.
  2. Add the oil and wine, and mix with a fork until the dough forms into a rough mass.
  3. Dump the dough onto a wooden board and knead it for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth.
  4. If you want to add any optional spices, knead them into the dough (or divide the dough and add spice to ½ of the dough) – knead well to distribute the spice.
  5. Cover the dough and let it rest, along with your arms, for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Pinch walnut-sized pieces of dough, roll first between your hands, and then against the wooden cutting board, so that the dough forms a thin rope, about ½ inch (1 cm) in diameter and 4” long (10 cm).
  7. Shape each rope into a ring, and seal the edges together by pressing lightly, then set aside the taralli rings on a wooden board and cover with a towel.
  8. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil.
  9. Put 6-10 of the taralli into the boiling water, and when they float to the surface – this will only take 30-60 seconds – remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a cloth to dry and cool.
  10. Tip: Try not to plop one tarallo on top of another when dropping them into the pot, and if they stick to the bottom, give them a gentle nudge with the slotted spoon
  11. Put the cooled taralli on baking sheets and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (200°C) for about 25 minutes, until golden.
  12. Remove and cool on racks.
  13. Store in a closed container to keep them crisp, and serve with an aperitivo – they are the a nice accompaniment for the rest of that dry white wine – or pile them into a breadbasket at dinner.
Traditional Taralli Recipe from Puglia - Italian Connection (2024)


What part of Italy is taralli from? ›

Taralli are small, unleavened bread rings that originate in Puglia, a region in the south of Italy that makes up the heel of the geographical boot that makes up the Italian peninsula.

What is the difference between taralli and tarallini? ›

Taralli are classically formed into rings or ovals about 10 to 12.5 cm (3.9 to 4.9 in) in circumference. Smaller taralli, called tarallini, with a circumference of 3.8 to 7.8 cm (1.5 to 3.1 in), are sold commercially.

Who invented taralli? ›

They were invented during the late 8th Century by impoverished workers in Puglia who, starving, decided to make something edible out of left-over scraps of dough to sustain them through periods of famine, but through the years they have grown in popularity to become one of the most common snacks in the country thanks ...

What are the round crackers from Puglia? ›

What Are Taralli? Taralli are doughnut-shaped crackers from Bari, in the Puglia region of southern Italy, often flavored with black pepper or fennel seeds. They have a slight tanginess thanks to a splash of white wine in the dough, and lend themselves readily to mix-ins.

What does taralli mean in Italian? ›

A cracker similar in texture to a breadstick, a pretzel, or a sushka, taralli can be sweet or savory.

Where is the most authentic Italian food in Italy? ›

If you're serious about exceptional food then the best region in Italy to visit is undoubtedly Emilia Romagna. Located in the northern part of the country, some of the world's favourite ingredients originally came from this region and it is also the birthplace of one of the best Italian dishes of all time.

How do Italians eat taralli? ›

Aperitivo or antipasto

The traditional way to serve taralli is to use them as an appetizer or aperitif accompaniment. In both cases, taralli are accompanied by cheese and cold cuts. Prepare a cutting board with Italian cold cuts and cheeses of your choice and serve them with a nice bowl of crispy taralli.

Where in Italy was the first taralli made? ›

Taralli is a peculiar Italian bread that originates from the region of Puglia which is located on the 'heel of the boot' when you look at the shape of the country. This region is also famous for other amazing foods like orecchiette, pasticciotto (a dessert with a creamy custard center) and last but not least…

Why are taralli so good? ›

Crunchy, tasty, and somehow indulgent in their simplicity, taralli are small, round, and fragrant morsels of bread dough, enriched with olive oil and white wine. They can be also flavored with things like chili peppers or fennel seeds, as well as olives or onions.

How do you serve taralli? ›

Pair your own Taralli like the Italians do, with a glass of wine as a recipe for the perfect afternoon. It is customary to dip the Tarallo in wine and allow it to soak up some of the liquid, making it the perfect texture for consuming and combining the flavors.

Are taralli good for you? ›

Taralli, for instance, can offer certain nutritional benefits. It contains olive oil, which is a good source of monounsaturated fats known for their heart-healthy properties.

What is taralli made of? ›

Taralli are quite simple to make, with an unleavened dough of flour, salt, extra-virgin olive oil, and white wine. You can leave the dough plain or spice it with fennel seeds or cracked black pepper.

What is the signature dish of Puglia? ›

Orecchiette con le cime di rapa – handmade orecchiette pasta with turnip tops – is definitely the most iconic food of Puglia. Orecchiette – literally “small ears” – is a shape of pasta dating to around 1500. It's particularly ideal to accompany vegetables chopped in rough pieces.

What is the famous bread from Puglia? ›

Pane di Altamura translates simply as “bread from Altamura,” pointing to its origin town within the Bari province of Puglia, Italy. These rustic loaves of bread have been made in Altamura for centuries. In fact, Latin poet Horace mentioned the famed bread in writings from the 1st century BC.

What area of Italy is known for butter and cream? ›

The Lombardia and Piemonte regions of Northern Italy are ideal for raising cattle, and their cuisine reflects as such. The tomato sauces are replaced with creamy alfredos and butter takes the place of olive oil.

Where in Italy do they eat risotto? ›

Risotto is typical of Northern Italy, namely Lombardy. on the other hand, rice is popular all over Italy but in different ways. Rice is mainly a crop of the Po valley. Most rice paddies in Italy are located in Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardy.

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