Italian “fast food” tends to be much nicer than American fare. It’s common to see piadina — Italian flatbread — folded over delicious sandwich ingredients for a quick meal or snack.
Check out even more Italian recipes you can make at home.
Making piadina from scratch
There’s no baking required for this Italian flatbread, and it’s yeast free, so there’s not a long rise time. It’s truly an easy recipe that utilizes simple pantry ingredients.
It’s made entirely on the stovetop, which makes it a nice homemade bread to make during the hot summer months — no need to heat the oven.
I like to use my cast iron pan, but you can use any skillet you have. The trick is to get the skillet very hot before you begin cooking. Once the pan is hot, spread a very small amount of olive oil on the bottom of the pan.
Transfer an uncooked piadina to the hot skillet and allow to cook for about a minute, then flip to the other side. Cook each side a second time, for about 30 seconds each, to attain a nicely browned surface. I rolled mine out as I cooked them, transferring each flatbread to the hot skillet as I rolled it.
Assembling your flatbread sandwiches
What I noticed about filled piadina in Italy is that unlike an American sandwich, there’s not usually any sort of spread, like mayonnaise or mustard.
Instead, these easy sandwiches are filled with high-quality meats and cheeses. A simple speck (ham) and cheese is as basic — and delicious — as it gets!
You’ll find piadina available hot or cold. A hot version is much like a Mexican quesadilla, but with ingredients like melted cheese, meats, and fresh veggies (hello, arugula!). Perhaps a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze as a final touch! (Watch a hot piadina made here.)
- 2 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt (scant)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Stir olive oil into dry ingredients until well combined. Add water and mix with a fork until almost all of the flour has been incorporated.
- Use your hands to continue mixing until the dough forms a ball. You can do this right in the bowl or turn the dough out onto a flat surface.
- Form the dough into a log shape and cut into 4 or 5 pieces, depending on how large you'd like the piadina to be.
- Roll each piece into a smaller ball. Allow to rest for 20 minutes under a damp tea towel.
- Lightly dust a flat surface with flour. One at a time, press dough ball down with your hand and then use a rolling pin to roll dough very thin.
- Place a frying pan or griddle over high heat until it's very hot. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the pan and spread it around. Transfer one piadina at a time into the hot pan. Cook for about one minute. You may see small bubbles form on the surface of the flatbread.
- Flip the piadina and cook for another minute. Cook each side for an additional 30 seconds or so, until the flatbread begins to brown. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining piadina.
If the dough is too stiff, drizzle in about a tablespoon of water. If it's too loose, add about a tablespoon of flour.
Store piadina in an airtight container for several days. Warm them in a hot pan to make them more flexible.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 551mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g