The Simple and Great Piadina is a thin Italian flatbread, typically prepared in the Romagna historical region.
Flour, lard or olive oil, salt, and water are the ingredients. Do you know anything simpler than that? We don’t think so. And still, the result is amazing!
Genuine ingredients for piadina, italian flatbread
The tradition calls for the dough cooked on a terracotta dish, the “testo“. The original recipe provides for a 48 hours rising time, but you can make it quicker and the piadine will special as well!
It is a truly simple recipe that uses genuine ingredients.
It is versatile and can make a great appetizer, a delicious snack, or a wonderful lunch. Of course, you have to add high quality toppings to make the best of it!
Why did we choose the Simple and Great Piadina in spring time?
Because summer is behind the corner and this is a special treat from Romagna, whenever you’re lucky enough to enjoy the beaches and the food over there.
- 4 cups (500 g) whole purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (125 g) water
- 1/2 cup (125 g) 2% milk
- 1/2 cup (100 g) lard٭
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) baking powder
- 1 Tbsp salt
How to make the dough:
- Let the lard warm up
- Knead by hands (or in a mixer bowl) the flour, the lard, the baking powder, the salt, and lukewarm milk and water
- Keep kneading for at least 10 minutes, until the dough smooths and doesn't stick anymore
- Let the dough rest in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 48 hours at room temperature (around 70F, if it's warmer, let the dough rest in the fridge and take it out 2 hours before using it)
- If you decide to make the piadina at the very last minute, let the dough rest for 1-2 hours. But give it a try with the long rising, because you can really taste the difference!
How to cook the piadina:
- Make small balls (a little bit more than 1/4 lbs, you should make 6 balls out of our recipe)
- Let the balls rest for 30 minutes
- Dust with flour a surface and roll the dough with a rolling pin. Make a round shape (8" diameter)
- If you have a terracotta pan warm it up to medium heat (not too hot, otherwise the piadina burns outside and doesn't cook inside). If you don't have one, just use a non-stick pan
- Cook fro a few minutes per side. Once they are ready, pile them up so they stay warm while you are cooking the others!
٭ when I tried the recipe here in San Diego, I've found difficult to get the lard. This article helped me a lot: https://www.countryliving.com/shopping/a27558216/where-to-buy-lard/ I quote: "if your local supermarket does carry it, you're most likely to find in in tubs in the meat section, or near the cooking oils, or in the international or Mexican foods aisle (where it is likely labeled in Spanish: manteca). If you find sold on an unrefrigerated shelf it may have undergone a hydrogenation process. This gives it a longer shelf life, but it will then include some trans-fats. It will also have less vitamin D. If you are having trouble tracking it down, you can always find it online."
The Origins of the Simple and Great Piadina
The Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli used to call the simple and great piadina “the rude bread from Rome”. At the time is was an unleavened white flatbread, flavored with lard.
The origins of piadina are really ancient. The Etruscans used a multigrain dough; then the Romans used to eat the piadina during their sophisticated meals.
During the Reinassance the piadina almost disappeared, only to be back during the ‘900, when the corn flour, combined with the white flour, let the food be cheaper.
Only during the Fifties the simple and great Piadina went back in the food market with a blast!
It was the typical street food on the Romagna beach walk.
At the time, there were a few families offering the delicious flatbread combined with the other typical ingredients such as prosciutto di Parma and stracchino (a really fresh and soft cheese).
Nowadays you can still find small kiosks along the beach walk, or you can make it yourself at home!
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Martina and Elisa