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.
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
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.
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.