Davide explained that I MUST (yes, he was that enthusiastic) try this piadina with the sardoncini. He actually was in disbelief that in the 20 years I have visited and even lived for a short time in Rimini that I never tried it. I wasn’t adverse to the fish, maybe it was just the combination of the onions and maybe it’s also I’m so partial to the prosciutto. But the waitress explained the onions are marinated and there isn’t a strong flavor. They make the piadina fresh at the restaurant. They were flaky and just perfect. The piadina has the fish, the onions, salad and radicchio. It is actually very light and is the perfect lunch to eat at a seaside town in Italy on a hot summer day in great company.
So all this talk about piadina has inspired me to share my recipe again here with all of you. It’s really quite simple to put together. It’s just flour, yeast, water and some sort of a fat. I use vegetable shortening but my mother-in-law uses strutto (pork fat).
Some notes on this recipe: As I mentioned, piadina is made with a handful of ingredients. There are some recipes that use yeast (like this one I’m sharing)and there are some that use baking powder and even some that use baking soda. Some even use milk instead of water. I’ve made the piadina with vegetable shortening and olive oil and find that using the shortening makes it very soft. And no matter where you are in the region, there will be fans for the different versions. There are even some that are very thick. I personally prefer the thinner and crispier piadina. This is the one Teresa my mother-in-law showed me and it’s the recipe I always make.
The piadina in Rimini are served at the table instead of bread in restaurants (and at home). They are cut into 4 triangles and placed in a basket. You could add whatever filling you like. Even Nutella is quite fabulous! They store nicely in a zip locked bag in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- 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
- 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.