Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (2024)

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I thought it would be appropriate to share this recipe for my Dad’s Favorite Fennel Taralli recipe on Father’s Day.

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (1)

Fennel Taralli

Taralli (plural) are without a doubt extremely addictive and very unusual as far as texture is concerned. There are many variations of this very simple food to be found throughout the regions of Italy.

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (2)

This particular variationis made with yeast and is unsweetened. As with most Italian recipes, these fennel taralli are simple but a little time-consuming. However, they arewell worth the effort.

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (3)

Once you have made the dough and it has been left to double in size (this can takeup to 2hours), you can slice the dough in strips and form them into rings. You can make the rings as small or as large as you like. Iusually form them into7 inch rings; about 1″ thick. Once again, you can make larger (or smaller) rings…it’s really up to you. These taralli get dunked in boiling water, just like bagels, for a few minutes and then in the oven for about 1 hour.

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (4)

When they are done, they become very shiny, and when you taste them, they are crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. They are at their best the day they are made. If making a big batch of this recipe, the taralli can easily be frozen.

More taralli recipes

There are many variations, sweet and savory, of taralli recipes across Italy, with different regions and even individual families having unique twists on these classic Italian recipes.

For those searching for a sweet taralli treat, consider trying out either the recipe for glazed egg taralli or the one for taralli cookies. These delectable delights feature the signature crispy sugar glaze and would be perfect for enjoying an Italian Easter celebration.

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (5)

Recipe origins

I honestly cannot tell you the exact origin of where my mom got this recipe. I always thought it was a recipe she “created” based on trial and error. I only know that these were, and still are, my Dad’s favorite Fennel Taralli. My mom would make many kinds of taralli, but a double batch of these would be made religiously every two weeks. They would be kept in the fridge and my dad would have them as an evening snack while watching TV.

I can still remember the setup. The ginormous wooden board (which I previously wrote about here) would be on the kitchen counter, a large pot of water and one huge mound of flour. My mom would make these taralli manually, with no KitchenAid to help knead. That’s what you call a true labor of love!

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (6)

A few months after my mom passed away, I found my mom’s collection of recipes. I was extremely surprised to find this recipe, with actual measurementsfor my Dad’s Favorite Fennel Taralli in English, and what looked like my daughter’s writing.

I knew that because of the frequency of these taralli being made and my mom babysat my kids after elementary school; my kids would often participate in the taralli-making process. They would be very proud of the taralli they made with their grandmother.

When I asked my daughter about the recipe, she informed me that she had asked her grandmother for the exact measurements so that she could make these taralli when she got older.

And so, thanks to my daughter, my Dad can still enjoy his favorite fennel taralli.

Best wishes to all the Dad’s for a Happy Father’s Day!

THANKS SO MUCHfor following and being part of theShe Loves Biscotticommunity where you will findSimple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.

Ciao for now,


★★★★★ If you have made this fennel taralli recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!

Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (7)


Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (8)

Dad's Best Fennel Taralli

Dad's Favorite Fennel Taralli are extremely addictive and very unusual as far as the texture is concerned. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

5 from 5 votes

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Course: Snack

Cuisine: Italian

Prep Time: 1 hour hour 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 2 hours hours 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 18 servings

Calories: 247kcal

Author: Maria Vannelli RD


  • teaspoons active dry yeast 8 grams
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds


  • In a medium bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water.

  • Stir and let stand for 10 minutes (will get foamy).

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt.

  • Add eggs and oil to yeast mixture. Mix to combine.

  • Add this liquid mixture to the flour and salt.

  • Add the fennel seeds.

  • With dough hook attachment knead for approximately 10 minutes until you have a soft, smooth elastic dough. Alternately, you can knead by hand.

  • Gather dough and place on a well floured wooden board in the shape of a log.

  • Cover with wrap and dishcloth and allow dough to rest until double in size(up to 2 hours) in a warm place.

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.

  • With a very sharp knife, slice dough into 18 equal parts. (you can make them smaller if you want)

  • Roll each piece into a 6-8 inch rope, then form into a ring. Make sure that you press the ends firmly together.

  • Plunge the taralli in boiling water; 3-4 at a time. Once they surface to the top, turn them over in the water and continue to boil for 1 minute. The whole boiling process should take less than 2 minutes.

  • Remove with slotted spoon and place on cooling rack to drain.

  • Repeat process until all the taralli have been boiled.

  • Place boiled taralli directly on oven grates.

  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown. (Set oven rack one below the center).

Scroll UP for the STEP by STEP PhotosDon't miss the process shots and videos included in most posts. Simply scroll up the post to find them. Those were created especially for you so that you can make the recipe perfectly every single time you try it.


These taralli are excellent the day they are made. They can easily be frozen.
Up to half of the all purpose flour can be replaced with whole wheat flour.

Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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About Maria

Maria Vannelli is a registered dietitian who lives in a suburb just outside Montreal, Canada. She's the founder of the food blog She Loves Biscotti. Maria hopes to inspire you and bring you and your loved ones closer together at meal times enabling you to create some memorable moments.

Reader Interactions


  1. Marie

    Maria, thank you so much for this great story of where the recipe came from. It brought the recipe to life for me. I look forward to making this recipe,
    Thank you


    • Maria

      My pleasure Marie. Thanks so much for reaching out ♥


  2. Steven

    Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (9)
    Great recipe, I’ve been using this recipe for many years now. I’m a huge fan of a soft taralli and love the way they turn out with this recipe. I’m a huge fan of the spice so I add a tablespoon of fennel and a tablespoon of anice seed. Defiantly a favorite in my home!! Thanks.


    • Maria

      My pleasure Steven! Thanks so much for taking the time to share!


  3. Maria Ponzo

    Soft Fennel Taralli Recipe (10)
    Hello Maria made recipe as is today and turned out perfect .


    • Maria

      How wonderful Maria! Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. Donna

    My dough came out runny and sticky. I used 2 cups of water for rising the yeast, 3 large eggs, used 3/4 olive oil..substituted for cooking oil and ground black pepper, instead of fennel, because that’s how dad remembers my grandmother making them. I added a little more flour in hopes of stiffening the dough up which it did but still quite sticky. It is sitting covered, waiting to see if it rises. What s the consistency of this dough supposed to be? Sounds like a lot of liquid for 6 cups of flour. Grams used 12 cups or 5 lbs. and only 2 eggs..but thought I’d try this since I didn’t need that many.


    • Maria

      Thanks so much for your interest Donna. I’m sorry to hear you are having a hard time with the dough. The dough should not be sticky… as you know, everyone measures flour differently… I will weigh my dough the next time I make these.
      In the meanwhile, I would humbly suggest adding a little more flour so that the ball of dough is no longer tacky and you can easily roll it. Hope that helps.


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