August 25, 2013

Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

Piadina is a thin Italian flatbread.  It is thicker than tortillas and crepes but thinner than a pita.  The dough is made by mixing flour, water, olive oil, salt, and baking soda.  It is then rolled into flat disks that are grilled.  In Italy, it is traditionally cooked on the streets on a terra cotta press.  Since it was a nice summer evening (and since grilled flatbread/pizza has been on my list of things to try), I grilled it.  The crust was crunchy, the inside was chewy, and it had a nice, smoky flavor from the grill.  

I put some fresh ricotta on it with ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and shredded parmesan and just drizzled it with some olive oil.  It made a fun appetizer for wine tasting night!  This bread makes an excellent "palate" for anything.  After cooking the piadina, you could stack them and slice them into wedges, and then use the wedges for a spreadable dip or some salami.  You could also treat it like a pocket bread and just fold the entire piadina in half, and then fill it with whatever you like.  (Grilled sausages and onions are popular fillings for piadina.)

As part of a Mediterranean diet experiment, the Russian cosmonauts ate piadina in space.  I wonder if they were able to pair it with some wine?

Have a great Monday!

Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

In a stand mixer, combine all ingredients and use the dough hook to knead for about 7-10 minutes.  When the dough is no longer sticky and has become smooth and elastic, roll it into a log, wrap it in plastic wrap, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

When you are ready to grill it, take the dough and portion it into 5-6 dough balls.  Each dough ball should be about the size of an extra large egg.  Roll out each piece of dough into a very thin disk, about 1/16 inch thick.  Brush both sides of dough with olive oil.

If cooking inside: Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat.  When the skillet is hot (throw a drop of water on it and make sure it sizzles!), put one of the rounds on it, and reduce heat to medium-high.  Poke the top of the round with a fork to vent steam.  After about a minute or so, check the underside.  When you begin to see brown spots, flip the round over and poke the other side with a fork.  Flip the round two more times or so, until it is evenly covered with brown spots.  Remove from the pan and set onto a plate, and repeat with the remaining rounds.

If grilling: Preheat the grill.  Grill both sides of piadina until golden brown and grill marked.

Serve warm, and enjoy!

Source: Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking


  1. If Marcella Hazan endorses it then it must be delicious. I love her simple tomato sauce. This looks like a perfect way to use up an abundance of summer vegetables from the farmers' market.

  2. What a welcome to Monday! I've heard of this but I've never seen one in the virtual flesh before. :) This does look good.

  3. I love Piadina. They are so versatile, to say the least, and so simple to make, the Italian version of fast food!

  4. Want, want, want, want, want!! Just one of my very favorite things in the whole world but have never made the flatbread I have to huh?


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