Italian Piada (Piadina) Flatbread

piada bread stacked

Remember last week when I was barely able to make Pita Bread? Oh, you’d already forgotten? Perhaps I should have just left it alone then…oh well.

I planned to take another stab at it, but then I thought, “Why not try making piadas instead?” Piadas (or piadinas) are so new to my life that I don’t even know if piadas is the plural form of piada (I just Googled. It’s piade.) I’ve mentioned before how an Italian street food place opened up next to my house. They use this awesome flatbread for everything from pepperoni rolls to chicken wraps. And although I’ve been to Italy before, I don’t remember ever eating a piada. I ate lots of panini though, which was great. Speaking of, I just learned that the singular form of panini is panino. Language is fun.

piada bread wraps

piada bread pinterest graphic  

It’s crazy how similar tortillas, pita bread, and piade are to each other. Change one ingredient or do one little thing differently and you have a completely different bread! But of all the breads I’ve made so far, I must say this was the easiest. 

 piada bread on plate

I did some research online and found out that piade is typically made from ingredients that you have already: flour, salt, olive oil, and water. That’s it! However, I also noticed that some people like to replace the oil with shortening and/or add a leavening agent such as baking soda. If you ask me, that’s a tortilla. I stuck with oil for my fat and good ole steam for the fluffiness. One small change I did make was to incorporate some cornmeal to the recipe, which I’ve read is perfectly within piada grounds. The cornmeal certainly adds some extra oomph to the texture and flavor, separating it from all those other flatbreads.

One person recommended poking holes in the dough to prevent it from puffing up on the pan like a pita. I tried it both ways and decided puffier is much, much better, as you can see from this side by side comparison:

docking vs not docking

I decided to try and master a plain piada first, but let it be known that you could easily add some fresh herbs or spices to this dough without compromising its integrity. I have plans for jazzed up version really soon! Until then, whip out your rolling pin and meet me in the kitchen. And remember to scroll to the bottom of the page for the full, printable recipe. 🙂


piada bread oil well

Combine your flour and salt (and cornmeal if using it) and then dump it out onto a smooth surface. Create a well in the middle of the pile and pour in your oil. Now you’re supposed to add that water, but if you’re anything like me then you’re thinking, “Ummmm is this a good idea?”

piada bread oil spillage

It’s not. ABORT! ABORT! Or just pour it in the middle much slower than I did. At this point you’re supposed to used a fork to work the flour into the liquid, but I was experiencing spillage everywhere, man. Just wasn’t happening. I thought, “Screw the fork. Where is my bench scraper?”

piada bread bench scraper

Ah, yes. There she is. one of the best purchases ever. And to think I got her at the dollar store! I should make a post about all the cool baking/decorating things you can get at the dollar store. Anyway, work the mixture, running around like a maniac whenever it seems like water is about to fall off the table.

piada bread coming together

Eventually it will come together in a big mush like this. See how lumpy and sort of weird that looks? I assume it’s the cornmeal. 

piada bread ball

Form it into a ball and start kneading. Knead knead knead. You are a baby tiger, and you are hungry. The recipe says 8 minutes? Hell no. Make it 16 minutes. Make it 20 minutes. The point is: knead until it is done. If you remember (Ugh, why do I keep bringing it up), that was the problem with my pita bread. This time I kneaded my poor little palms off and then threw it in my stand mixer with dough attachment for another five minutes. I wasn’t messing around this time. I just don’t trust myself, you know? I have freakishly weak hands.

piada bread smooth

Anyway, this looks pretty good. A little wrinkly…maybe because of the corn meal? Like I said, I kneaded it forever and a day so I wasn’t too worried about some wrinkles. The important thing was that I could get it into a ball and it wasn’t sticking to my hands or table surface at all. It was great!

piada bread divided

Now all there was to do is divide into 8 pieces. I worked on four at a time. 

piada bread docking

And roll it out thin. Like 8-10 inches in diameter. Those little holes are from when I docked the dough with my fork. Like I said earlier, I stopped doing that after the first two because I wanted a fluffier result.

flat skillet

Get yourself a pan like this. My god. So much easier to transfer the dough onto. My first couple of piade were awful because I had to get over the huge obstacle that was the side of my pan. A griddle like this has no sides, making it easy peasy.

cooking piada bread

Make sure your pan is good and hot (med high heat), then add the dough to it. It does not take long to cook these babies. Maybe just a minute on each side.

piada bread bubble

They will puff up like beautiful balloons, and actually look like something you can eat!

Then you can make delicious wraps, like the ones I made here with chicken meatballs, Greek yogurt, and fresh veggies.

piada2l

Until next time <3

Italian Piada (Piadina) Flatbread
Yields 8
An Italian style flatbread perfect for wraps of all kinds, or even to use as a thin pizza crust.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2.5 c (325 g) all purpose flour
  2. .5 c (60 g) cornmeal
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 4 tbsp (55 g) olive oil
  5. 1 (8 oz) warm water
  6. 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)
By hand
  1. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, and salt, then dump it on a flat surface and create a well in the center.
  2. Add the olive oil, water, and lemon juice to the well, then using a fork or bench scraper slowly begin to incorporate the flour into the liquid.
  3. Once the flour mixture is all incorporated, begin kneading. Knead until the dough is significantly smoother and more elastic and you can easily form it into a ball. The dough should not stick to your fingers or the surface of your table. Minimum kneading time: 8 minutes.
  4. Set a pan or griddle to med-high heat on your stove top.
  5. Divide dough into 8 equal portions, then take one portion and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it reaches 8-10 inches in diameter.
  6. Transfer it to the pan and cook it for about a minute on each side. Like pancakes, you'll know when it's time to flip when you see bubbles.
  7. Repeat with the remaining 7 portions.
Stand mixer instructions
  1. Add the flour, cornmeal and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer, then (using the paddle attachment) mix on low until combined (about 30 seconds).
  2. Switch to the bread hook attachment, then add the olive oil, water, and lemon juice to the bowl.
  3. Set the mixer to low and wait for wet and dry ingredients to combine (You may have to help them along with a rubber spatula). Once combined, turn the mixer up one speed and let the dough knead for about 8 minutes. The dough should be smooth, elastic, and come off the sides of the bowl easily.
  4. Remove the dough from the dough hook and knead for a couple more minutes by hand. The dough should not stick to your fingers or the kneader surface.
  5. Set a pan or griddle to med-high heat on your stove top.
  6. Divide dough into 8 equal portions, then take one portion and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it reaches 8-10 inches in diameter.
  7. Transfer it to the pan and cook it for about a minute on each side. Like pancakes, you'll know when it's time to flip when you see bubbles.
  8. Repeat with the remaining 7 portions.
Notes
  1. Keep piade warm by covering them with a clean towel.
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