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Piadina (Italian Flatbread) #TwelveLoaves

Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

What in the world have you been up to these days? Go ahead and brag about your colder temperatures and relaxing by the fireplace (my friends that live near Boston have been sending us fireplace videos to make us jealous).


Well, it's definitely more fall-like here and I have more desire to bake breads! I slowly broke the bread baking break by diving into this Piadina/ Italian flatbread! And I'm so glad I did, because we have missed making piadina!

Piadina (or piada) is an Italian flatbread that is typically made and found in the Romagna area of Italy (Forli-Cesena, Ravenna, Rimini, Riccione). It also can be found in  Ferrara, Pesaro e Urbino province, Montefeltro and the Republic of San Marino. And I will tell you that it varies from town to town. You can be in Italy in one town and talk about how it's made and then go to the next town, and argue about how your way is the way to make it. I have also lived in Rimini for a bit and that is where my love for piadina blossomed!

Piadina is a fun street food and it is also comfort food! But I will tell you this, do not think it is exclusive to this area of Italy. My Calabrian mother-in-law who lives in the Lombardy area of Italy makes a mean piadina! There is also Franca, my Roman friend Daniele's mamma, who makes amazing piadina! Franca was visiting last year and told me her friend from the Romagna region of Italy taught her one summer how to make it. She made it all the time when Daniele was growing up near Rome and it was one of the few things he liked to eat.

My mother-in-law was self-taught and she made it for us this past spring when she was visiting us. It was kind of a bad thing when she did make it that first time, because the kids were requesting it every day. They were expecting fresh and hot piada as an afterschool snack every day!
Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

All this talk about piadina is for a reason! This month the #TwelveLoaves bakers is baking Crackers, Crisps and Flatbreads!

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our theme is Crackers, Crisps, and Flatbreads:


I think she'll be thrilled to know that I am making it (no way while she was here would I tell her I do know how to make it, then there would be the critiques and her method is better than mine).

It is all a very simple process for a very simple and humble flatbread. Add the yeast to one cup of warm water and let it do its thing for about 5 minutes. I then add the flour to the counter (if you have "00" flour, you could use 1/2 and 1/2 all-purpose flour). Then you add the fat, and that could be extra-virgin olive oil, vegetable shortening, or if you are really lucky, homemade strutto. Ok, my mother-in-law renders her own pork to make her own precious jars of strutto (pork lard). And when I say, wow, I mean wow! The flavor it adds to the piadina is out of this world (I know because she did make it in Italy for us with her own strutto).

So you've got your shortening (in my case here at home, I used the vegetable shortening)in the flour (that also has a little salt in it...I use a teaspoon). With your hands, mix together the shortening into the flour. Break it up as you go along and don't worry, it's messy. Keep rubbing it off your fingers and add it back into the pile. Bring the pile towards the center and keep mixing. Next, add in the water with the yeast and now it's really messy. Bring it all together and keep mixing and mixing until you finally get a ball of dough. Push into with the palm of your hands and work it into a pile. Keep kneading (about 5-7 minutes)until it's shiny and elastic. If it seems wet, add a pinch more of flour. If it seems to dry, add a little more water. You have to let the dough rest covered for about 30 minutes. Don't want to mess up your counter? Then use your mixer with the dough hook or even a food processor will work fine. I like to work the dough and see where it's going and it's therapeutic!
Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

If you are looking for a an easy bread recipe to make with your kids, this is the one! They will have fun rolling out the discs and it's totally fine if they're imperfect. My son grabbed the rolling pin and wouldn't let me finish. He was so proud of his work! I wouldn't let them use the hot skillet (unless your kids are older and they know what they're doing at the stove...use your discretion).
Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

Now this one below is the one we ate in Rimini and it has prosciutto crudo, rucola, tomatoes.

One of the most simple breads to make. How could this bread elicit such fervent lust in my mind? I lust over these piadine...truly, I do! And I know you would too if you had the chance to hold them in your hands. Preferably, in Rimini. At one of my favorite places to grab the best lunch or dinner: Casina del Bosco.

This isn't a sponsored post. Even though I've eaten at their place over a dozen times, they have no clue who I am. So I can freely talk about them with that fervent lust I mentioned earlier. Man, do I LOVE this place. Planning a trip to Rimini any time soon? You MUST stop by for a piadina or two at Casina del Bosco.

Here's a photo of Casina del Bosco:
Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

Piadina (Italian Flatbread)


Some notes on this recipe: As I mentioned above, it is supposed to be these 4 simple ingredients: flour, salt, water and some sort of fat. There are recipes that use yeast and some that use baking powder (or even baking soda). Some recipes call for whole milk instead of water.  Some even skip the those leavening agents and use a bit of lemon juice. If you choose to just use flour, salt and water, you will have a much crispier piada. I find that using shortening (or rendered pork fat/strutto), makes it softer and more supple. Each family you will meet that makes piada will have their version. What's the best version? Depends on taste and if you live in Italy, it all depends on what you grew up eating. This is the recipe my mother-in-law showed me how to make and it is loved by all. For now, I'm sticking to this one!

You can eat the piadina as they are as an alternative to bread. Just cut them into 4 triangles. Or you can add your favorite sandwich filling to it, flip it together like a sandwich and make panini. I add mine back to the skillet to let the cheese melt when I make a sandwich. Just make sure it doesn't burn...do it on a lower heat.

If you don't use up your piadina right away, you can put them in a plastic zip locked bag and it keeps fine in the fridge for a week or you can even freeze them for up to 2 months.


Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: about 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (6 piadina)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening (or pork fat or extra virgin olive oil)
Instructions
Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl and let stand 5 mins.

Place the flour and salt together on the counter (or use your mixer) and mix together. Add the shortening and mix together with your hands (or the mixer). Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly add in the water with the yeast.

Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Add the dough to a bowl and cover and let it rest about 1/2 an hour.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, with a rolling pin roll out each piece to form a round, 6 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. If the dough resists rolling out, let it rest for 1-2 minutes, then continue.

Heat a heavy frying pan or griddle over medium-low heat until very hot, about 10 minutes.
Place one of the dough rounds in the hot pan and prick all over with a fork to prevent air bubbles. 

Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping it over frequently to avoid scorching and to aid even cooking, about 5 minutes.

Repeat with the remaining dough rounds as directed in step 7. Stack the rounds on top of one another and cover with a dish towel to keep soft and warm.

Fill with your choice of ingredients, fold in half and serve. Or enjoy them as they are.

24 comments

  1. That sandwich is driving me crazy - it looks soooo good! And I love how every country and region has recipes that are so similar (this is basically how we make our flour tortillas...minus the yeast of course). I really need to try making a batch, I know my family would love them!

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  2. […] Piadina (Italian Flat Bread) from Cake Duchess […]

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  3. […] Piadina (Italian Flat Bread) from Cake Duchess […]

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  4. Oh I thought your piadina were gorgeous on their own...and then you had to add cheese and tomatoes and prosciutto! Oh my, I am in love!

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  5. This is one of my favorites Lora! Sooooo good. Now I'm hungry ; ) Grazie.

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  6. I love any sort of bread, so this looks right up my alley!

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  7. I won't brag about my colder temperatures because I am depressed about it! LOL Love this so much - my husband and I are total bread fanatics!

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  8. This looks delicious, Lora! I'd not heard of piadina before - glad to learn something new. I so wanted to bake with Twelve Loaves this month, but it just didn't work out. Hopefully, next time!

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  9. You're a mind reader... I was just thinking the other day that I needed to find a great flatbread recipe :) This looks amazing!

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  10. This piadina looks amazing! The sandwich you made with it has me wishing I had a stack of them.

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  11. Love me some Piadina! Wrap it up with grilled veggies and parmesan cheese and I am in heaven. My husband will be thrilled when I make this!

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  12. Thanks for sharing. I really want to learn how to make this

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  13. These look so good - my stomach is rumbling!!

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  14. I need to make these STAT! I'm not the best at rolling dough very thiny, but you've inspired me with your photos. Especially the one with the prosciutto and mozzarella. I'm swooning over here!!!

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  15. This is my kind of bread, looks delicious and chewy!

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  16. I honestly just drooled a bit. This looks like it is going to be my new favorite bread recipe.

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  17. That's pretty amazing Lora. I love the story about how the different areas lay claim to the bread. The Italian bread police might just come after you too! LOL. Your bread looks sooo good, and I have pinned it to make ASAP!

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  18. Piadina is totally new to my flatbread repertoire but now I really want to make some. I am north of you so yep very fall like weather, but monday should be like summer!

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  19. Oh my, these are so beautiful. I just want to reach out and grab that sandwich. There's nothing quite like a warm, fresh flatbread and I'm so glad you shared these.

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  20. I love any kind of bread but the simplicity and ease of this recipe is wonderful. I will have to make this with my daughter because she loves bread just as much as I do.

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  21. I have not heard nor seen this flatbread before, but am happy you have shared it with me.

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  22. Piadine bring back pleasant memories for me, of lazy afternoons on the beach near Rimini. Ah, but it's best years—many years—since I last enjoyed them. Sigh....

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  23. What an interesting and delicious looking bread! I love the idea of whipping up a quick flatbread. I sorta want that sandwich pictured too :)

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