It takes two to make a thing go right.Gather Journal Black Pepper Taralli
Legend has it that if you peer through a hag stone—those stones into which the sea’s continually crashing waves have whittled a hole—you will see a fairy world. Our taralli, a traditional Southern Italian permutation of the breadstick, are designed to mimic their shape and all-seeing ways, because hey, after a few glasses of this seasonal pastis concoction, who knows what you might glimpse?
makes about 40
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and yeast until mixed. In a separate bowl, stir together the wine, water, and 3 Tbsp oil. With the processor running, pour the liquids through the feed tube and process until a smooth dough forms.
Divide the dough into about 20 walnut-sized balls. (Keep them covered while working.) Roll a ball into a thin 12-inch log. Cut in half and form 2 rings pinching and pressing the ends to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet and form remaining rings. Let the rings rest, covered with plastic wrap for 2 hours. (They will not rise.)
When rings are well rested, preheat oven to 400°F, and bring a large pot of water to a simmer with the remaining 3 Tbsp oil. Simmer the taralli, in batches, until they pop up to the surface, then let them simmer until they puff slightly, about 1 minute longer. Using a slotted spoon, remove them to paper towels as cooked, blot dry, then transfer them back to the lined baking sheets.
Bake, rotating the sheets midway, until deep golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely on racks, and then keep them stored in an airtight container.