Calabrese Taralli - Recipes At My Table (2024)

Calabrese Taralli are very different from those made in other regions of Italy. In some parts of Italy these crunchy breadsticks go alongside some good Vin Santo, but I love mine dunked. Growing up an immigrant in a Calabrese/Sicilian home we ate these for breakfast. We dunked them in milk with coffee and we were so lucky to have a nonna who baked every day.

Recently, we kind of had a family feud Taralli baking day. That’s when I decide to call my mom and get the official recipe. Of course there were no measurements; and so, I gambled and was lucky. Growing up I made these thousands of times along my nonna, but you know, she used a handful of this and a glass of that. In fact, mom said to me you know, use a small glass of oil. I had to think, she meant the small Italian wine glasses. I love the black Anise seeds, but searched high and low for them in Italy last year and couldn’t find them. You can find green Anise seeds or use fennel, but today, I opted out.

It’s hard to probably pinpoint the origin of these well-loved breadsticks. I think they stem from the cucina povera. They probably had leftover bread dough and decide to get creative. That’s why you can have savoury or sweet taralli, but of course the recipe changes a bit. In the North they use white wine, but down south we like to drink our wine from a cup. LOL Either way enjoy!!

Here is a sweet taralli/ginetti we make for Easter:


  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup oil ( Canola, vegetable or a light olive oil will do)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp Anise seeds or fennel (optional)


Mix the 1 cup water, 2 tsp yeast and and 1 tsp sugar. Along side I whisk the egg with the 1/2 a cup oil and then add the cold water.

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Pulse the flour and the salt.

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Add the oil, water and egg mixture first and pulse. Follow with the yeast mixture.

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Turn the dough onto a counter and knead. I added about 1/4 cup flour. I kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes.

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It was smooth and not sticky.

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I cut the dough into four pieces and then each piece into 8.

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We rolled the smaller pieces into ropes. I cut each piece of Dough into 12 inch ropes and joined the two ends by pinching them. This should form a ring. the thinner the rope, the crispier the bread stick.

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I laid out a table cloth and put the ropes on top.

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Don’t overcrowd the ropes in the boiling water. Two minutes are enough. Take them out with a slotted spoon and place on a pan with parchment paper or a cooling rack and then lay them out back on the table-cloth.

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Into a 375 F oven they go for 8 minutes on each side.

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Out of the oven and ready for some dunking.

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Calabrese Taralli

Author Renata Solski


  • 4cupsall purpose flour
  • 2tspsalt
  • 2tspyeast
  • 1tspsugar
  • 1cupwarm water
  • 1/2cupoilCanola, vegetable or a light olive oil will do
  • 1/2cupcold water
  • 1large egg
  • 1tspAnise seeds or fenneloptional
  • Makes 32 breadsticks


  1. Mix the 1 cup of water, 2 tsp yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Let it get foamy. In another bowl whisk the egg and the 1/2 cup of oil. To this add the cold water.

  2. In a mixer pulse the flour and salt. Now add the oil, water, and egg mixture first and then follow with the yeast mixture. Add the Anise seeds if you choose now. Knead with the dough hook for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and not sticky. Keep an extra 1/4 cup of flour handy if needed here.

  3. Cover with a tea towel and let dough rest for about 30 minutes.

  4. Place the dough on a floured counter and knead for one minute.

  5. Cut the dough into quarters. Roll each quarter into a log and cut each log into 8 pieces.

  6. Roll each piece of dough into 12 inch ropes and join the two ends by pinching. This should form a ring. The thinner the rope the crispier the bread stick. Put breadsticks on a table cloth.

  7. Set a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Drop the trail into the water and do not overcrowd the pan. Put in about 4 taralli at a time. When they come to the top, remove with a slotted spoon.

  8. Place on a cooling rack or a pan covered with parchment paper to drain. Then they can go back onto the tablecloth.

  9. Set your oven to F 375 and place the breadsticks directly onto the oven rack for about 15 to 20 minutes. I like them golden brown. Keep an eye on them

Calabrese Taralli - Recipes At My Table (2024)


What to do with taralli? ›

A traditional Italian way to enjoy taralli is with a glass of wine (or grape juice). Dip the cracker into your glass and allow it to soak up some of the liquid. Then, enjoy the way that the texture and flavor transform. Classic taralli are the perfect choice for pairing with your favorite grape.

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.

How do you eat taralli pugliesi? ›

Taralli are one of the most iconic foods from the Puglia region. Eat them any time of day as a delicious snack food (stuzzichini) or served as an antipasto with aperitivi. They are made either plain or with a variety of flavors like fennel seeds, hot chili pepper (peperoncino), or even sweet.

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 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.

What does taralli mean in Italian? ›

taralli. bagels; biscuits, dough. Alternative Meanings Popularity. bagels; biscuits, dough.

What does tarallucci in Italian mean? ›

“Tarallucci e vino” (tarallucci is an affectionate diminutive of taralli) is an Italian expression too. It generally means that all's well that end's well.

What is the afternoon snack called in Italy? ›

Even though Italy's afternoon snack time, known as merenda, is meant for children - it's good for adults too.

What are Italian sandwiches called in Italy? ›

Panini is an Italian word, the plural form of panino, and are Italian sandwiches. Panini are usually prepared on a bread roll or rustic bread.

What does taralli taste like? ›

Having originated in Puglia—the “heel” of Italy, home to over 60 million olive trees, some thousands of years old—the very best savory taralli taste of little more than good olive oil, lots of salt, and often either fragrant fennel seed or coarsely ground black pepper, the two most classic 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 to eat with taralli pugliesi? ›

The best match is with wine, preferably from Puglia, such as Primitivo di Manduria, Nero di Troia or Negramaro. Taralli are good with pretty much everything: at the beginning of a meal, with olives, cured meats or a platter of cheeses.

Do Italians eat dessert for breakfast? ›

While different nationalities begin their day with breakfast cereals, eggs, pancakes, ham, or sausages, Italians choose cakes and other pastries for breakfast. Roman breakfast cakes are a common breakfast treat at home, in cafes, and at hotel breakfast buffets.

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.

Why do Italians eat biscuits for breakfast? ›

For the same reason that other countries eat bacon, eggs or something else: tradition. Actually it is true, breakfast in Italy is often based on sweet foods. It is not always as seen in the movies, cappuccino and croissants, but biscuits, rusks with jam, bread with jam, milk with cereals, etc. are often eaten.

What do people eat and drink for their merenda? ›

It generally consists of an infusion (tea, mate, coffee, mate cocido, etc.) and a baked snack (scones, bread, toasts, cake, facturas, etc.), usually accompanied with dulce de leche, honey, butter or jam.


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