Piadina, a rustic Italian flatbread, is one of the first recipes my mom, shown in the photos, taught me how to make when I was little. And I’m sure it’s one of the first recipes she learned as a young girl. It's a regional Romagnola recipe -- as old as the hills -- dating back hundreds of years.
As a kid, I loved playing with the dough and rolling out my very own piece, misshapen and crooked. To this day, I still can’t roll them perfectly round like mom could.
In our family, piadina is a fixture at almost every get-together, be it lunch or dinner. We love to eat it sandwiched with paper-thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma, or sautéed cabbage, or sliced mozzarella, or a schmear of squaquerone cheese, maybe some frittata, or Nutella. My favorite way to eat piadina is with a salad of sliced red onion and wild home-grown greens that we call radicchio, but are more like bitter dandelion greens. The feasting possibilities are pretty much endless. —mrslarkin
Test Kitchen Notes
Nonna’s Piadina another great recipe from mrslarkin passed down from her Nonna. I have to say, and I can say this being Italian, Nonna’s are notorious for leaving out something from a recipe just so it can be said, “well it was really good, but it's nothing like Nonna’s” -- it didn’t happen here. The piadine came out exactly as they should -- kind of a cross between a biscuit and flat bread. The dough handled like a dream and is very forgiving. I could not get mine in such beautiful circles like mrslarkin's Nonna, but I think that takes practice. They were just perfect and made an amazing base for breakfast pizza -- the rest of them were frozen, awaiting the antipasti on New Years Eve. This is a great recipe, easy to make and totally delicious. —sdebrango
Fillings of your choice like Prosciutto, ham, mozzarella, fritatta, salad, Nutella, pretty much anything you want
Place flour in a mound on pastry board or counter. Sprinkle on salt and baking powder, and mix together with your fingers.
Make a well in the center. Drop in the shortening and rub it together with the flour using your fingertips. Lumps are okay! And it will still be pretty floury.
Make a well again and pour in water and milk. Mix with fingers until dough comes together. Add a little more warm water or flour, if needed. You want a soft dough – not at all sticky. Knead for a couple minutes, and roll into a log shape. (Alternatively, all the mixing can be done in a large bowl. I like to use a fork to mix everything together.)
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, using a scale if you have one. With one hand, gently roll each piece on the board/counter into a ball. Mom says to use your thumb and nudge the dough ball under with each turn. Set each ball to the side on a sprinkling of flour and let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat griddle to medium. Slightly flatten a ball and roll out dough to about 9 inches in diameter. Gently lift and place on hot griddle, scoring the piadina all over with the tines of a fork. If bubbles appear, quickly pierce those suckers with the fork. Cook each side for a few minutes or until each side develops some lightly browned spots. Remove to a clean dish cloth. Repeat with each ball, and stack each cooked piadina over one another. Loosely cover with a dish towel. When done, cut piadina into quarters and enjoy with your favorite sandwich fixings.
Piadina freezes well. Reheat on a griddle over low heat, or wrapped in damp paper towels in the microwave.