Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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This recipe for piadina, flat bread comes from Romagna and is similar to the torta sul testo of Umbria. Traditionally piadina, a primitive or country bread is made with or without a little leavening like baking soda or yeast. The "recipe" varies from place to place, some using milk for the liquid in the dough while others use water or even white wine.
While strutto, rendered pork fat or lard is a common ingredient in the dough, olive oil has been used in the recipe. Piadina is often served with prosciutto, or other cured pork products of the region. Farina 00, Italian flour, was used to test the recipe and can be found in Italian specialty stores or unbleached all purpose flour can be used. The dough is easily made in a food processor.
Makes Nine 7-inch breads
1/2 teaspoon active dried yeast
1 cup warm milk (110-115F.)
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil, or lard that has been melted and cooled
3 cups (12 ounces) or 340 grams of Italian 00 flour or King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Dissolve the yeast in the milk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough hook. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour in the olive oil or lard. Add the flour and salt and process the mixture until a ball of dough forms.
The dough should feel soft and silky and not stick to your hands. Carefully remove the dough to a work surface and knead it a few times with your hands. Transfer the dough to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile heat a non stick sauté pan over medium heat or heat an electric non-stick skillet to 350F.
Punch down the dough and form it into an 18-inch long rope. Cut 9 two inch pieces from the rope and roll each one into a 7-inch circle. Poke the top of each round with a fork. Place the rounds in the pan or skillet and bake them until they begin to get brown specks on the underside. Turn the rounds over and bake the other side.
As you bake them, transfer them to a cooling rack. The rounds should be thin and pliable. When cool they can be served with a variety of cured meats, olives, and cheeses.
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