I have grown up on these dense hard Italian pretzel/cracker rings. I am surprised I haven't turned into one of these pretzels. This is the version that is primarily used in Southern Italy especially in the Puglia region which my city Bari, is in. This is the Black Pepper version and some of my Aunts or even my Godmother have put fennel seeds into the dough which you can do too and provides a more fragrant pretzel. Again this is another recipe that all my Aunts have made. You partially boil these pretzels before baking them. You can't appreciate the taste by just eating one, then after you haven't realized you've eaten about 15. These are made for special gatherings or just for snacking. When storing, make sure you put them in an air tight container because they can get stale really easily.
1Dissolve yeast in water. Sift flour, salt and pepper onto mixing board.
2Make a well in the center and add yeast, wine and oil. Blend together and gradually incorporate into flour. Knead for 10 minutes, the dough will be stiff.
3Place in oil coated bowl, turn to coat, cover with towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
4Preheat over to 350 degrees.
5Break off small pieces of dough and roll into ropes about 6 inches long. Form a ring and pinch edges together.
6Fill a large saucepan half full of water; bring to a boil. Drop taralli into water and boil for 1 minute. Remove from water, letting both sides dry on a sheet of parchment paper.
7Brush with olive oil and bake 350 degrees on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, turning a few times during baking until light to medium golden brown and crisp. 12-15 minutes. Let pretzels cool and store in an air tight container.