Chef Dino of the Italian restaurant "Faule Magd" in Ueberlingen/Germany, was kind enough to share his recipe with me. The same dough can be use for tarrali (Italian bread rings) and grissini (bread sticks). Note that these tarrali (rings) and grissini will be the real thing - not the bone dry garbage that you buy in the store! Yes, they will look more rustic than their machine-made counterparts...

  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cook/bake time: 30 minutes
  • Makes 1.3 kg (almost 3 lbs) of grissini (breadsticks) or about 100 tarrali (bread rings)


  • 500 grams (3.5 cups) all-purpose flour (D: type 550; F: type 55)
  • 500 grams (3.5 cups) pastry flour (D: type 405; F: type 45)
  • 50 ml dry white wine (1.5 cups, or about 350 grams if you want to go by weight, or almost half a bottle)
  • 275 ml of olive oil (1.25 cups, or 250 grams if you want to go by weight)
  • 1 standard package (11 grams, 2 teaspoons) of baking powder (not baking soda!)
  • 2 medium eggs (2.5 or 3 if the eggs are small, or the dough turns out too dry)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of dried whole fennel seeds (coarsely ground in a mortar)
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of ground fennel seeds
  • 2 rounded tablespoons of dried thyme
  • 2 rounded tablespoons of minced garlic
  • Optional: 100 grams (3-4 oz.) grated Gruyere cheese


  • Large baking sheet / oven tray.
  • Large bowl.


  • General:
  • Preheat oven to 180 °C (350-360 °F), with fan.
  • In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and mix
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix well, to obtain a soft, smooth, elastic (but not sticky) dough
  • I use a large, very sturdy fork. Kneading by hand also works fine.
  • Make sure to get all the flour that will be trapped underneath the dough ball.
  • Lightly oil a large baking sheet or oven tray with some olive oil on a wad of paper towel.

  • For grissini:
  • Grab about 2 rounded tablespoons of dough, press into a ball with the palms of your hands, then briefly roll between your palms to begin to shape them into a bar.
  • This is about 40 grams (1.5 oz); adjust as necessary to get the size of grissini that you like.
  • On a clean, smooth kitchen counter, with both hands parallel, roll the bar back & forth with the palms of your hands until the desired thickness and length is obtained.
  • I make them about 1½ cm (½ inch) thick and 15-20 cm (6-8 inch) long.
  • Place on the oven tray.
  • Repeat until all dough is used up.

  • For tarrali:
  • Roll into a thin bar as described above for the grissini, but use only 1 rounded tablespoons of dough.
  • Take the ends of each bar and push one on top of the other, to form a ring of the size that you want.
  • Place on the oven tray.
  • Repeat until all dough is used up.

  • For both:
  • Put baking sheet in oven
  • When the top of the dough rings/sticks is dry (takes about 15 minutes), and the bottom of the rings/sticks begins to take color, turn them over.
  • At this point, they are still soft when you press them!
  • Optional: push the tarrali and/or grissini together and cover generously with the grated cheese.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes (until light golden and no longer soft when you push down on them; they should not be bone dry!).
  • If you covered them with cheese, you will have to bake them about 10 min longer; the cheese prevents moisture to escape from the top of the dough, and the cheese also releases grease while melting.


A batch of tarrali and grissini - most of the grissini have Grated gruyere cheese on them


Another batch - this time I have flattened the grissini into long crackers


My simple one-finger test shows that this tarrale is slightly too big


  • Perfect for dunking in white wine!


  • They keep for many days in an airtight container (but won't last that long)

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