Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Piadina | How to make Piada Italian flatbread

We are starting the second week of BM#50, and I will be doing a theme on International Flat breads. While Indian Flat breads are one of my favorite themes, as you might have seen on the Roti Melas that I have hosted, I have always hesitated to take up on International Flat breads. There are so many varieties that one can choose from, if only one takes a look.

Even after deciding that I would take it up, I was clueless for a long time. I started working on it this weekend, knowing that I have some interesting recipes shortlisted. I was so surprised to note that there are so many similar recipes, almost same as our rotis, or the stuffed parathas. The difference could be the method used to cook or the ingredients that are locally avaialble. Plus the factor that as part of Indian cuisine, we rely so much on our spices and a bland, just a creamy stuffing wouldn't appeal to our taste buds.

This is what I concluded after reading up on very similiar Unleavened Flat breads cooked across globe.
It was infact so difficult to shortlist just three. As they say, one has to get down to business and so I did. I had to decide which of those appealed to me the most and those that I could make over during my regular weekend marathons. Like if I am actually doing the marathon on the fixed days, I have ended up cooking most of it together during the weekend, planning all the new dishes for one of the meal.

So I ended up selecting Piadina.

Piadina or Piada is a thin Italian flat bread. Very much like our rotis, Piadina is prepared with white flour, lard or olive oil, salt and water. Since I don't use lard, I opted to use olive oil. Originally in olden days, this flat bread was cooked on a terracotta dish, in modern cuisine adapts the flat pans or electric griddles as well.

Also I found that though in the original recipe never called for baking soda, the latest recipes found on net uses baking soda and I didn't want to take a chance. Of course, this would be very much like our own Indian Rotis. So I wanted to see how the baking soda affects the bread. I adapted mine from here.
After the Piadinas are made, they are served filled with a variety of cheeses, cold meet cuts and vegetables. It can also have sweet fillings such as jam or Nutella. Naturally I didn't' want to end up with a Nutella and having the whole lot disappear!

I was planning on serving it with a bed of curried paneer. Having missed the chance to do that, I did with vegetables. It tasted so delicious and you guessed right, so much like ours! The difference could be felt only when you eat it as such. Else you can everybody say that it's your regular Indian Bread. I know I should have opted for something very different from what we are used to cooking, like maybe a focaccia, which has been on my to do list for the longest ever time. However given the daily grind one finds oneself in, it becomes impossible.

I settled to a need to try a new flatbread, old taste in a new form or was it new taste in a old form!. One thing was, my kids were super thrilled and eagerly waited to taste this, even after their lunch!

Piadina ~ Italian Flat Bread
makes about 4 regular ball size breads.

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking soda a pinch
Salt to taste
olive oil - 1 tbsp
Water to knead

How to make the Piadina Flatbread

Take the flour in a wide bowl, add olive oil, baking soda, salt and mix well.

Then slowly add water and knead to a firm and smooth dough. Divide into equal balls, and rest it for 30 mins.

When you are ready to make the flat breads, knead each piece of dough briefly and roll out with a rolling pin into 6-inch rounds, 1/8 inch thick.

Heat a flat tawa/griddle on the stovetop over medium heat.

When hot, place one dough disk on the surface, checking the piadina frequently and turning it once halfway through cooking

Prick the disc with a fork to prevent too many air bubbles from forming.

This procedure should produce a flat piadina with its characteristic light and dark spots

Serve with filled with stuffing of your choice.

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Mayuri Patel said...

looks so fluffy and soft, very similar to the indian naan.

Suma Gandlur said...

A good choice Valli but most of the basic breads around the world are somewhat similar, right? Except that our rotis are wheat based and majority of the other ones are done with plain flour. I too have to exclude many breads from my list just because they sounded like our rotis. :)
And BTW did the baking soda made them taste any different?

Srivalli said...

Agreed Suma, that was the reason why I had to ignore few others. Baking soda made the bread little puffed up and soft on inside and crispy on outside. Otherwise one can't differentiate.

vaishali sabnani said...

I like your passion for breads and it was no nice reading about the details . The idea is to like what you cook and if the kids like it then kudos:))

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Valli, this looks so soft and fluffy! Any flatbread from around the world are quite similar to each other, give or take couple of ingredients. It is nice to know about this one :)

Priya Srinivasan said...

Didn't understand the same pinch that day!!! Unless one tastes it, they won't find the difference in the bread. I liked piadina, just for the fact it can be served with any stuffing sweet or savory!!!

Nivedhanams Sowmya said...

so soft it looks!!! so similar to our naan!!

Priya Suresh said...

Looks fabulous and super soft bread, i seriously want to give a try to this bread.

sushma said...

Such a lovely and soft bread

Sapana Behl said...

Piada looks so soft and delicious . Baking soda has given it a nice texture.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Looks so soft and fluffy. I also agree that most of the breads around the world resemble either roti or naan :)

sneha datar said...

This bread is really soft and fluffy. Just like the Naan.

Archana Potdar said...

Now I wish I had made it too. The baking powder put me off. Did the addition of baking powder make you feel full?
Will try it soon.From BM #50 there is a rolling manic loose.;D

Pavani N said...

That bread looks so soft & fluffy. Love your presentation :-)

Padmajha PJ said...

Well made bread Srivalli.Yes the breads around the world differ just a little but that surely changes the taste and texture right! And seeing this wants me want to request you to have a month long flatbread marathon..Is is possible:)?

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