In my opinion Piadina was invented by God himself (well, maybe Batman if you don’t believe in God) – the first time I encountered this Italian marvel was in Barcelona….figure that one out, so I got justifiably pissed off with myself as a result of never having experienced Piadina ‘in Country’. I’ve been to Barcelona A LOT and I always make a trip down to a back street in Barcelonetta to get the Piadina the Italian guys sell down there…it is straight up amazing!
Piadina is nothing more than an Italian flat bread, a bit like a cross between a Tortilla and a Pitta and it’s stuffed (in a half-moon) with basically anything you want..but the classic combo is Rocket, Parma ham and Cheese (Mozzerella is my preference) – that’s it, it’s served hot from the hot plate and eaten from the hand……and it is bonkers easy to make. This is a great Saturday post pub feast, get the lads round after a few beers – forget about kebabs (or make your own) and crappy chain burgers…this will win you friends and help you influence Governments
Makes 2 Piadinas
For the Piadina bread:
450 grams of ‘oo’ flour
10 grams salt
1 heaped tps baking powder
200 mils water
100 mils good olive oil
2 tps lard
For my filling:
1-2 really, really ripe tomatoes
1 big ball of mozzarella cheese
Freshly grated parmesan
A couple of hand fulls of fresh rocket
About 10 slices or mortadella
Kick things off by making possibly the simplest bread in the world – combine flour, olive oil, water, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and bring together with your fingers to form a rough dough. Next turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until uniform and smooth.
This is a very, very different type of bread from traditional yeasted bread so it doesn’t need much kneading (to stretch the gluten allowing the rise) and it needs literally only a short spell of time in the fridge to rest before shaping and ‘cooking’ – this is cooked on a frying pan – not the oven.
When the dough is smooth cling it and sling in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
When you are ready to make the stuffed Piadina, roll out the dough to as thin as you can get it – literally see through is best then cut out 2 x 12″ discs – I use aplate and simply cut around it (keep the cut away as it freezes really well).
Pop a large frying pan on the heat, large enough to take the 12″ Piadina and bring it up to a screaming temp before dropping in the lard. Swirl around to coat the pan then carefully ‘drape’ the piadina into the pan. You want to cook them on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until you get those nice burnt spots (which lend so much to the flavour by the way).
Cook both Piadina breads this way then transfer to a board – keep the pan hot as you will be going back in!
Next arrange your filling on one side of the piadina disc, fold the other side over ontop of the filling to make a semi-circle then pop back into the hot pan to crisp and melt the cheese slightly – I’m talking 30-40 seconds tops!!
Serve wrapped in paper – nice and hot and oozy with the cheese.
Additional ideas: Pesto mayo as a spread, try making sweet Piadinas with chocolate spread, strawberries or bananas – the world is you Lobster!!