Fennel Seed Taralli

I struggle with mindfulness. It’s silly as my stressed out life and jammed schedules could really benefit from mindfulness but it is because of those two factors that I have no patience or time for it. The one thing I’m trying to be more conscious of is mindful eating as mindless grazing is one of my many pitfalls. These taralli are exactly something I would mindlessly eat in front of my Mac until I reach the bottom of the bowl and find nothing but shame and guilt.
Taralli are addictive snacks, like crisps, but healthier so I’m more likely to eat them all. Faced with crisps or tortilla chips, my mind almost immediately stops me from putting them  into my mouth as the guilt overwhelms me just at the sight of them. But knowing that something isn’t that unhealthy, like these crackers, my mind just lets loose and I overdose. So, whilst these taralli are good, I try not to make them that often…

Ok, let’s move on and actually talk about these taralli.  First and foremost, they’re traditional snacks from Puglia in Italy.  Containing just a handful of ingredients, these are deceifully cumbersome. Not difficult, just cumbersome. You have to mix, knead, leave to rest, weigh, shape then blanch and leave to cool, and finally bake. Worth it though, they’re lovely, like crisps, just a bit healthier.

Oh and they help you use up that last bit of wine if you don’t want to drink it. That’s why I initially made them, I don’t drink that much, I have other ways of burying my emotions. img_0705

Recipe adapted from Trattoria da Martina
Makes almost 100. A lot. 
250g flour
7g salt
65g dry white wine
75g extra virgin olive oil
7g fennel seeds

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.  Then create a well in the center and add the white wine, olive oil and fennel seeds.

Stir until it comes together as a dough, and knead it for a good 20 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Using a scale, divide the dough into small pieces that are about 7-9g each.  Roll each one out into a sausage about 8cm long then shape each into a ring, pressing the ends tightly together.

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Drop the taralli into the water in batches (so maybe 10 at a time depending on the size of your pot), and when the float (30s – 60s), remove them from a slotted spoon and put them on a cloth to dry and cool. Repeat until all taralli are blanched.

Preheat the oven to 200C.  When the taralli have cooled, line them on a lined baking tray and bake in the hot oven for around 20 minutes or until golden.

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