Taralli – Italian Black Pepper Cookies

Taralli are wonderful baked wheat flour rings that are a classic snack in Italy.  These little round cracker-like biscuits are a bit addicting so be warned. Taralli are savory bites that are crispy on the outside and have flaky inside.  The taste is a wonderful combination of floral olive oil and spicy black pepper with every nibble.  Taralli can be referred to as cookies, crackers, biscuits, or biscotti de pepe. This taralli ricetta pugliese, is the best homemade recipe and so much better than store-bought Trader Joe’s or Flora’s packaged taralli. 

Italian pepper cookies originated in the Puglia region which is where my family came from and the town of Bari.   These are different than the Sicilian taralli, also fantastic though, which is typically a sweet lemon version that is glazed. The traditional flavors of taralli Pugliese are black pepper and fennel or anise seeds.   I enjoy these as a savory treat and like them as a snack or addition to a bread basket like breadsticks or on a charcuterie board with fruit, cheese, salumi, jams, & olives.  

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Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies PN1 plated with peppercorns on the counter and a pepper shaker

 

INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE TARALLI PUGLIESE

To make classic taralli with black pepper, you will need 4 ingredients plus water.   I traditionally make mine completely savory but you can also add sugar to balance the black pepper and olive oil. I personally do not add it and make it optional in this Italian black pepper cookie recipe.  

This is made without white wine like other taralli recipes may include. It needs minimal kneading and no proofing; therefore, it is ready to bake in minutes.  It was originally a very basic recipe believed to be originated as far back as 1400 in Italy so that is what is still being made today. You can find out more about the HISTORY OF TARALLI if you are interested. 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies ingredients

 

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TARALLI

This is a very easy no-yeast Italian recipe so it takes no time to mix the dough, shape, and bake them off.  In just a few minutes the dough will come together and only needs a bit of kneading before you begin rolling and shaping the taralli rings.   Then you pop them in the oven until they are light brown, a bit flaky thanks to the olive oil, and have so much savory black pepper flavor. 

Make the Dough for Taralli Biscuit

To begin making the dough for taralli biscotti, mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the sugar if you are using it, again the sugar is optional. 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies dry ingredients in a bowl

 

Next, create a well in the middle to add the wet ingredients. Slowly pour the water and oil into the well of the flour.  To blend together completely, gradually incorporate into the flour using your hands. The dough will be dense and you will have a stiff dough that is soft. It should not be dry and crumbling nor too wet and oily. 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies add olive oil to the dry ingredients

 

Knead & Shape the Taralli

Prepare a cutting board or work surface with a bit of flour (see the best flour for dusting work surfaces below)  To the stiff dough, knead for about 3 minutes to develop the gluten.    If you have never kneaded dough before, here is step-by-step instructions on kneading dough. 

***  I actually always use RICE FLOUR when I need dough – it has no gluten and is actually a better barrier to keep it from sticking. Regular wheat flour will stick to flour itself thanks to gluten but rice flour solves that problem and you use so little it does NOT change the recipe or texture) 

This is the rice flour I use for dusting when making breads etc –  The Short Order Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps with the costs of running the blog. Thank you! 

 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies knead the dough

NOW  PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 400°.  This will give it time to come to temperature while you shape the taralli. 

Shaping each tarallo is very easy.  Since it is a rustic Italian cracker-like snack they do not need to be perfectly round or exactly the same shape. I do try and make them the same size using a tablespoon measure, this way they cook evenly and are all done at the same time on the baking sheet. 

To roll and shape the homemade tarallo, pull off small pieces of dough about 1 Tablespoon in size. Next, roll into ropes about 5-6 inches long and very narrow.  (see image 2 down for the difference in size between rolling it 5 or 6 inches in length)  Next, form a ring and then pinch the edges together.

 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies roll the dough and form into circles

 

 

Here is the difference between rolling the ropes of dough to either 5″ or 6″ in length.  The 5″ rope from 1 Tablespoon of dough will result in a smaller ring with a smaller hole.  If you want a bigger taralli with thinner sides and a bigger hole, roll it out to 6″ in length before bringing the edges together into a circle.  We personally like the bigger size with a bigger hole and more distinct circular cookie shape. 

 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies difference between a 5 or 6 inch long rope then in a circle for smaller size and hole

 

HOW TO BAKE HOMEMADE ITALIAN PEPPER COOKIES

Place them on a prepared baking sheet, nonstick or with cooking spray.  You can get a dozen on each baking sheet. You can bake one at a time or both at once – just be sure to rotate the pans halfway through and keep them as close to the center of the oven as you can.   Brush each with a bit of olive oil. 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies brush unbaked circles with olive oil on baking sheet

 

How Long to Bake Black Pepper Taralli 

Bake taralli for 20 minutes in the middle of your oven.  You will know they are done when the tops are light brown.  The bottoms will be light to medium browned.  Do not overbake as they will dry out and be too brown and crumble as you eat them.  Remove them carefully from the baking sheet and let them cool on a baking rack.  

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies cooling on a baking rack

 

HOW TO EAT & STORE TARALLI 

What to Serve & Eat with Taralli

Enjoy immediately as a snack, appetizer, or small bite.  Serve with wine or other small bites like cheese, fruit, or salumi. Great to serve on a charcuterie board, as antipasto, or in a breadbasket. But the best accompaniment to serve with Italian black pepper biscuits is your favorite glass of wine. This simple taralli recipe with coarse black pepper goes well with a red wine like Syrah, a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, or even Champagne. Here are also some great recipes to enjoy with taralli to have a tasty party or complete Italian meal.

Crispy Baked Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Crispy oven-baked marinated artichoke hearts is the easiest recipe ever. It is so simple to cook marinated, canned, or frozen artichoke hearts in the oven on high heat to get a crispy outside and a tender inside. They're best as an appetizer, healthy snack, salad pizza topping, or side dish. Artichoke hearts are a wonderful cracker or chip replacement that makes a good gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, and keto dipper.
Check out this recipe
Crispy Baked Marinated Artichoke Hearts featured closeup
Instant Pot Italian Sausage & Peppers
Instant Pot Italian sausage and peppers is a quick & easy recipe. They are great for sandwiches or as is for the best keto, low-carb, or gluten-free meal. This Instant Pot sausage and pepper recipe is done in one pot and is complete in just 20-minutes. 
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Italian Sausage & Peppers featured overhead of plate with sausage and peppers
LOW CARB KETO LASAGNA WITH CREPINI
Lasagna that is as authentic as nonnie would make but only 4 net carbs each serving!
Check out this recipe
crepini keto lasagna
Pasta al Forno (Baked Pasta)
Pasta al Forno is a baked pasta casserole everyone will love. This easy recipe for baked rigatoni has tomato sauce, cheese, and more for a great dinner.
Check out this recipe
Pasta al Forno (Baked Pasta) featured overhead plate for recipe card
Italian Chicken Drumsticks
This recipe for authentic Italian chicken drumsticks is bursting with flavor thanks to an easy lemon, garlic, and herb marinade.
Check out this recipe
Italian Chicken Drumsticks

Storing Taralli

To store fresh-baked taralli, place them in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag.  They will remain fresh for about 3 days. You can also freeze the dough or baked taralli for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then bake or enjoy within 2-3 days. 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies in a red bowl with a few on the counter with peppercorns

 

 

 

PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!

 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies PIN plated with red napkin wine glass and bottle

 

 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies PINREDO overhead close up of white plate with taralli stacked on it and a red napkin

 

Product Recommendations for this Recipe – #ad:

 

The Short Order Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps with the costs of running the blog. Thank you! 

 

Taralli - Italian Pepper Cookies overhead plated with a red napkin

Taralli Pugliesi - Italian Black Pepper Cookies

Angela
Taralli are wonderful baked wheat flour rings that are a classic snack in Italy.  Taralli are savory bites that are crispy on the outside and have flaky inside.  The taste is a wonderful combination of floral olive oil and spicy black pepper with every nibble.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional olive oil for brushing on
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar OPTIONAL

Instructions
 

  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Create a well in the middle to add the wet ingredients.
  • Slowly pour the water and oil into the well of the flour. Blend together and gradually incorporate into the flour using your hands. The dough will be dense.
  • Dust a working surface or cutting board with flour, To the stiff dough, knead for about 3 minutes to develop the gluten.
  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Pull off small pieces of dough about 1 Tablespoon in size. Next, roll into ropes about 6 inches long and very narrow. 
    Form a ring and then pinch the edges together.
  • Place them on a prepared baking sheet, nonstick or with cooking spray.  Leave space between each tarallo, they do not expand very much but will a little bit.
    You can get a dozen on each baking sheet. You can bake one at a time or both at once – just be sure to rotate the pans halfway through and keep them as close to the center of the oven as you can. 
  • Brush with oil and bake 20 minutes in the middle of your oven. The bottoms will be lightly browned.
  • Remove carefully from the baking sheet and let cool on a baking rack.
  • Enjoy immediately as a snack, appetizer, or small bite.  Serve with wine or other small bites like cheese, fruit, or salumi. Great to serve on a charcuterie board or in a breadbasket. 

Notes

NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR EACH TARALLO WITHOUT THE SUGAR - 
 
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving  
Calories 75
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.3g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.6g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 51mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 8.2g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Total Sugars 0g  
Protein 1.1g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 35mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
 
NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR EACH TARALLO WITH SUGAR - 
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving  
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.3g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.6g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 51mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 9.2g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Total Sugars 1.1g  
Protein 1.1g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 35mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Keyword appetizer, baked, bread, cookie, cracker, easy, Italian, no-knead, savory, snack
 

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