Piadina is a thin, chewy flatbread. Soft, but not too brittle, decorated with small toasted blisters. It is well stuffed and baked and can be used as an elegant snack or packed lunch. And if you arrange all the Italian delicacies nicely on the cutting board and add a glass of wine, it will surely win points as a romantic dinner.
It’s up to you whether you choose good lard or good quality olive oil as the fat for the dough – even Italians use both types equally.
If you decide to use lard, melt it first, but don’t overheat it.
Sift flour with salt and baking soda into a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add water and fat (melted grease or olive oil) and make a smooth elastic dough, knead it well for at least 10 minutes. Cover the prepared dough with a bowl and let it rest for half an hour.
Use a knife to divide the dough into equal pieces depending on the size of your pan: this batch will make 4 really big pancakes or 6 smaller ones. Form the pieces of dough into nice balls, then roll them into really thin patties, about 2-3 mm high.
Heat a large, heavy cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the first patty on it and fry (dry) for about 10 seconds, then turn it over. The dough should be dotted with small brown spots, if they are almost black, turn off the heat. Turn and move the pancakes to the pan and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes, when they start to inflate, pierce the bubbles with a fork. The finished pancakes have a matte white surface dotted with occasional spots. Place the baked pancake on a plate under a kitchen towel, and prepare the rest like this.
Tip: Piadina is best fresh, still warm, but if necessary, you can reheat the pancakes in the oven for a short time.
Fill them to taste: slices of tomato, arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella and a little olive oil is a classic combination. However, briefly stewed spinach with garlic, Italian sausages are also excellent, and you can also try a sweet version with marmalade, pears and honey or with melted chocolate.
Tip: As with the filling, you can also win with the way of serving: the classic piadina is folded in half, but you can also roll the filling inside. Or cover the whole flatbread, fold it over and cut it into triangles, just like a pizza. Filled pancakes can be briefly baked in the toaster.
Do you prefer a fluffy white slice of sourdough bread? In that case, reach for the recipe for Italian focaccia.