Today’s post is a new thing on the blog because besides not having chocolate it’s also not a dessert! I learned it during a Traditional Italian Bread class, at the Baking & Pastry school.
Four years ago, when I became interested in baking, I actually had no interest in making bread. I had no idea and I didn’t want to learn it. But during the Bas Baking & Pastry program I had to learn how to make bread, and although I wasn’t planning on making them on my own, something about the brewer’s yeast fascinated me. The idea that it was a living organism and that it made bread grow took me back to my years as a biologist and my curiosity grew.
After graduating, I was really excited to work making chocolate and chocolate desserts so I got a job at a chocolate store. But as destiny would have it, sometimes we had to make bread and for some reason I was the one that ended up doing it. The more I did it, the more I enjoyed it, so I bought a few books on how to make bread. By the time I went to work at a restaurant a year later, besides making dessert, I was put in charge of making bread!
Now I enjoy it so much that I have been making bread at home for more than two years and the experiments continue… Every week I make 2 loaves of white bread, but sometimes I vary with a loaf of whole wheat bread. I’ve also made the Honey Wheat Bushman Bread (Outback Steakhouse), Italian breads like foccacia and schiacciata, the French baguette and croissants, the Indian Naam Bread and last but not least pizza dough. Sometimes I use natural yeast (mother dough) and sometimes I use the brewer’s yeast. More of this on another post…
So, I’ve decided to share with you my other passion besides chocolate and so I’ll be posting different bread recipes from now on. Starting this trend, today I will post a recipe on Taralli, a traditional Italian snack, originally from Puglia, the “heel” of the Italian boot”. Other southern regions of Italy also have their version of Taralli, like Sicily, Basilicata, Campania and Calabria. Today’s recipe is the Neapolitan version that I learned in school, which has almonds but which I chose not to use as a matter of personal taste.
These savory biscuits are great to have with white wine or a cold beer, to eat while watching a movie or to serve before a dinner party. Whenever you plan to make it be assured that this snack will go into your list of …Once You Start, You Can’t Stop Eating Finger Foods.
- 200g High Gluten Flour (I used Manitoba)
- 2,5g Brewer’s Yeast
- 62,5g Lard yes, that’s it, Lard. Here, in Italy, they use it in many recipes. If you want, you can replace it with butter, the taste will change, but it’s an option. Remember that butter has a percentage of water, so, if you use it, reduce the amount of water in your recipe.
- 2g Black Pepper
- 60g Chopped Almonds (optional)
- 65g White Wine
- 5g Salt
- 25g Water (warm, around 30°C)
- preheat to 190-200°C
- cover baking pan with parchment paper
- chop the almonds (optional)
Modo de fazer
1- Mix the flour with the yeast, lard, pepper, salt and white wine.
2- Add the almonds (optional) and the water (little by little). Remember that the amount of water for this kind of recipe is an estimated value. In some days you’ll have to use more and in other days, less.
3-When the flour has absorbed all the water, work on the dough for 5 more minutes. Then let it rest (covered) for 15 minutes.
4- Cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll them, as if you were making baguettes.
Once they’re like thin short ropes, you can cut them again into smaller pieces and continue to roll them into ring shaped biscuits.
5- Put them on the baking pan with parchment paper and then cover them with plastic wrap, so they won’t dry out. Leave them to rise for 30-60 minutes.
6- Bake them for about 20 minutes, once again, this is one of those things that vary with the brand and model of the oven. You’ll know that they’re baked enough, when they start to get some color.
7- Take them out of the oven, let them cool down and enjoy.
8- If put in an hermetic container, these biscuits can last up to two months. Honestly, I think that to last all that time, you’ll have to make a much bigger batch. J
Enjoy and see you next time