Pantry Basics

Quick & Easy Italian Flatbread
March 5, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

A few weeks ago I mentioned on twitter that I was making Italian-style quesadillas. Within minutes someone in Tuscany replied they really have a dish in Italy called piadina, and it’s very similar to what I was preparing for dinner.

All it took was a few clicks and keystrokes, and bingo, the homemade flour tortillas I usually make just needed a few tweaks to become a quick and easy Italian flatbread. I decided to take a few liberties with the traditional recipe since I wanted to keep it on the healthy side and also vegetarian. Extra-virgin olive oil took the place of lard. Usually there’s a bit of milk too, but I figured since the recipe also contained water, why not stick with it 100%—a bonus making these vegan as well.

The resulting flatbreads look very familiar to tortillas, but one bite and you’ll taste their distinct flavor. Once you layer a few fillings between your piadina, it’s your call whether you grill them or enjoy the sandwiches as-is. Personally the lure of gooey, melted mozzarella cheese is too hard for me to resist.

Piadina
Makes 8

In an effort to control portion sizes, these piadina are smaller than traditional ones. If you’d like a larger size, then divide the dough into 6 pieces instead of 8, and follow the directions from there.

2 cups (10.5 ounces) all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
Sandwich fillings of your choice

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt to combine. Using a fork, stir in the olive oil. Pour in the water, and using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture forms a rough dough. Turn out onto a clean counter (you do NOT need to flour it beforehand). Knead the dough a few times until it becomes smooth.
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Take a ball of dough and starting at the center, gently press it out into a circle using your fingertips. Switch to a rolling pin and gently finish rolling it out into an 8-inch round. Pierce the surface a few times with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
  4. Place a formed piadina in the preheated skillet, and let it cook until golden with some dark or charred spots on the underside (it may also puff up a little). Flip the piadina and cook until the other side is golden with a few dark spots as well. Serve warm the sandwich fillings of your choice.

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