Piadina is a tipical kind of… ‘bread’ from the Emilia Romagna region in Italy. While its term dates back to ancient romans times, Emilia Romagna had the privilege to make it its own traditional (and excellent) bread, and street food. It’s usually served with prosciutto cotto or crudo and “squacquerone” (I dare you try to spell that, english readers), a sort of more liquid stracchino (or crescenza), a very fresh cheese typical of these regions.
It should be cooked on a special clay dish called testo (or teggio, teglia) because it better distributes the heat all over, but for this recipe I’m gonna use a normal iron one, because testo requires time to heat and it’s really a waste for a single piada. If you like it and pay a visit to Emilia Romagna, you should really head to Sogliano al Rubicone where i managed to buy one of those clay dishes years ago.
Recipes of the piadina vary from different localities there, and probably (and sadly) a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to try all the variations but I’m proposing a standard recipe of the piada I normally use every time I want to make one to delight my palate with something different here. Probably if a romagnolo would read this post he would have something to add or to complain about the recipe, but I’m sadly from another region and I’m trying to do the best I can to let you know this dish that holds a special place in my heart.
For this recipe I’ll also give some advice to cook the filling should you want to try it as a street food and not as a bread. I’ll use mozzarella instead of the usual cheese, because I really don’t know if in the US you can have those kind of super fresh cheese due to FDA regulations. If you can find stracchino or crescenza, i strongly suggest to use that for the filling, it’s totally awesome!
- circa 1 and 1/4 cups of all purpose flour (5.3 OZ to be precise)
- 1 OZ of lard (or EV olive oil to make it vegan)
- 1 and 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- Warm water
Melt the lard down at bagnmarie (1), until it fully liquid (2). Meanwhile prepare warm water aside, and mix the flour with 1-2 coffee spoon (they’re slightly smaller than teaspoons) of salt, depending on how much salty you want the piada. Create a fountain (the middle hole) in the flour (3), and pour all the melted lard inside (4), then start mixing flour and the lard until it can’t absorb no more. Start adding water a little a time, until all flour gets absorbed. The result should be an elastic dough, easy to maniuplate that does not attach to your hands.
Knead the dough as you would for pasta all’uovo for 3-4 minutes, to mix all the ingredients together, then make a ball (5) then wrap it in plastic wrap and leave there for an hour to rest (6).
Then stretch it with a rolling pin until it forms a cyrcle of 0.15-0.17 inches thick, depending from your taste. I like it thick, but some prefer it thin. Remember you might need flour on othe rolling ping to prevent the dough from sticking.
Place the flattened dough in the pan (pre-heat it at very high temperature first, piadina has to cook fast), until it burns a little then flip it and repeat. It usually takes less than one minute per side to cook it, and leave it soft inside. It will make some bubbles when cooking, but it’s normal. Don’t break them.
Direction for piadina with warm filling:
If you want to fill piada with something and have it warm, it’s faster to cook one side, turn it upside down and place the ingredents on the cooked side while the other is still cooking. This allows you to close it without (hopefully) breaking it too much.
For this piada, i used prosciutto cotto and one 4.5 oZ fresh mozzarella.
Leave the mozzarella out of the fridge in its package with its water, for two hours until it reaches room temperature. Then cut it in “rags” (10) and place it on a strainer (11). This allows some of the water inside to drain if it’s too juicy (some fresh mozzarella are).
Once the first side of the piada is cooked, turn it, place mozzarella and prosciutto (12) then wrap it in two (13).
Leave it 30 seconds then turn it to the other side to cook the other half, carefully trying not to spill the filling out. Leave it another 30 seconds and serve.
You made a typical italian street food from Emilia Romagna. How do you like it? Let us know!!