Monday, September 1, 2014

July 2014 -- la piadina romagnola (Italian Flat Bread)

I've had to wait a few weeks to write this up. We had a replacement instructor for our summer Italian class. Michele's class was too full, unfortunately.  Our substitute found the classroom to be too cold, so our class was set to relocate to the kitchen, at a long table.
Summer classes take place from 10-2.  We love the intensity and the length, but we get hungry, especially when then conversation turns to food. During our class discussion of food, no one seemed to have known what a piadina was. I should have tested to see if there was any interest to eat one. My mistake.

Here's a great link on piadina:  Italian piadina

I really enjoyed this very interesting link on flat breads of the world:  Flat breads of the world
Maria and I asked for permission from both the instructor and the office, to make the class lunch for that Saturday in the kitchen.
I did a test run at home.  Rosa's recipe, which I've made for years, took too long to rise.  I researched Italian sites for recipes and discovered piadina could be made with water or milk and the leavening could be baking power or yeast. I used warm milk and yeast and found the dough was ready to use in exactly 30 minutes.
I also discovered, a cast iron skillet could be used in place of the authentic teglia to cook the piadina.  On the internet I found a place in Emilia Romagna which has made the teglia since 1826. I plan to order one on-line and pick it up at my family's home in Cremona this November.

 Purchase a handmade teglia

Testing at home

Maria and I divided and brought the ingredients and pans.  We were super organized, making a double batch of the dough during the morning break.  We planned on cooking the piadina right during the 10 minute lunch break.  Passing by, Michele saw the project and asked if there were enough piadina for his class too.  Sure!  We had enough to go around.

Sadly, our own class seemed disinterested in participating.  Even after 4 weeks have passed I'm not sure what happened.  Maria and I made the piadina and stacked them.  We pulled the cheese, lettuce, arugula and prosciutto from the refrigerator. Everything was in place.  Except we had no takers.  The instructor did not call for the anticipated break.  Michele and his class quietly swept in and out, each of their hands eagerly clutching a napkin wrapped piadina. Another instructor appeared with one student. Perhaps I answered a little bit too loudly when she requested a piadina or two.  I said, please, no one here is interested.  And it was true. 

Shortly afterward, the break was called and the students did made their way over to what was left.  The instructor declined to look or to taste.  

Our mistake was to present food to classmates we did not know.  They had no passion for cooking nor for tasting.  The instructor, well educated and surprisingly ill mannered, is a speaker of the language but not a talented teacher. 

It's also my fault that I felt hurt.  It was nothing personal.  But normally these classes carry with them a passion to do more than just have a conversation in Italian. My passion was crushed that day by their indifference.

Maria and I have cooked so many times in the kitchen.  We know the clean up routine:  leave it cleaner than you found it.  We left it spotless.

We also look forward to the Fall Class Schedule when we will be welcomed back by the normal passionate teachers we love so much. Maybe I'll take some nice fresh piadina to class!


400 g flour (farina 00 
2 t granulated yeast   
4 T olive oil 
250 ml milk, warmed

Mix all ingredients on a bread board.  Knead for 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough into the bowl.
Over with plastic wrap and leave bowl in a place without a draft. 

After 30 minutes, divide the dough into the number of piadina you wish to make.  The recipe makes 6-10 depending on the size you roll to. 

On a flour dusted board, roll out the piadina.   Prick with fork tongs a few time.  

Cook for 1 minute on each side, on a hot cast iron skillet.  Do not oil the skillet. 

Serve piadina folded, with filling inside.  May fill with cheese, ham, lettuce or any combination.  Also good with Nutella.

Store un-eaten piadina in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe may be halved for single people! Piadina are NOT tortillas.


la piadina romagnola all'olio extravergine di oliva

Porzioni: 6-8
  • 400g di farina tipo 00
  • 2 cucchiaini di lievito in polvere o 1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato
  • 1 cucchiaino di sale fino
  • 4 cucchiai di olio extavergine d'oliva
  • 250ml di acqua molto calda

Preparazione: 20minuti  ›  Cottura: 2minuti  ›  Tempo aggiuntivo:30minuti  ›  Pronta in:52minuti 
  1. In una grande ciotola, mescolare la farina, il lievito, e il sale. Con un tagliapasta o un frullatore aggiungere l'olio. Gli ingredienti devono mescolarsi bene insieme.
  2. Aggiungere l'acqua e mescolare l'impasto velocemente con una forchetta o con le mani.
  3. Trasferire l’impasto su una spianatoia e lavorare ancora per una decina di minuti.
  4. Mettere l'impasto nella ciotola, coprirlo con la pellicola e lasciarlo riposare circa 20-30 minuti.
  5. Formare delle palle da 100g circa.
  6. Per ottenere delle piadine da 100g bisogna stendere la pasta con un mattarello il più possibile. Successivamente con un coperchio da 24cm di diametro, oppure con l'aiuto del tagliapizza si ritagliano i cerchi di pasta.
  7. Cuocere in una padella antiaderente a fuoco vivo per 1 minuto su entrambi i lati.
Le piadine vanno conservate nel congelatore avvolte singolarmente in carta alluminio. Una volta scongelate basterà scaldarle per qualche minuto nel forno a microonde.

Copied from: la piadina romagnola all olio extravergine di oliva

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