Helen's Taralli / Taralli di Elena Julian
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
These are not the traditional ringlike taralli; instead, they are shaped as twists, and the dough has cheese in it. As these bake, the smell of black pepper and cheese permeates the house. They are served at Eastertime and disappear very quickly in my house. The original recipe came from Helen Julian, whose ancestral home is Cumblebas, Italy.
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or lard
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour with the baking powder and pepper, and set aside.
- In another large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, olive oil, and cheese with a whisk. Add the flour mixture and mix to form a firm dough. Add more flour as needed to keep dough from getting sticky. Knead until smooth and pliable.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Break off small balls of dough about 1 inch in diameter and roll into ropes 10 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Hold the rope in the middle with your fingers and twist the 2 ends together, forming a twist about 4 inches long. Place the twists on towels.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- In a large pot of boiling water, drop the twists a few at a time and let come to the surface. They will rise to the surface in about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on brown paper to drain. Arrange the twists on baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.