The flat griddle-cooked, flour and water (with a little bit of olive oil) flatbreads known as piadine make a delightful change from bread rolls, especially for sandwiches as they are thin and light, perfect for summer eating. Fill them with paneer cheese and chutney or chicken tikka and raita, fold or roll up, and your lunch is ready.
They are at their best freshly made and hot, though they may be successfully frozen and reheated (individually is best, over high heat for just a few moments) as needed and desired.
Piadina is so easy to prepare—simply combine the ingredients into a dough, let it rest, knead only a tiny amount, roll out, and cook only minutes in a hot pan or griddle. Fresh from the stove, they are tender yet chewy. Make them once and you might find yourself whipping them up often—and who would blame you?
45 - 60 minutes
250 g Italian type 00 flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda or baking soda
3 tablespoons olive oil
125 ml milk (not traditional: usually water is used, but milk gives the little flatbreads a more tender texture; you may use water instead if you prefer)
Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda or baking soda and salt in a bowl or on a cutting board used for making pasta. Mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and milk (or water) and work it into the flour, as if making pasta. When it forms a dough, knead for only a few minutes until it holds together nicely.
Wrap in cling film, and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes; longer is fine.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces; form into balls, then roll each one out on a lightly floured work surface or board, until flat and very thin, like a pancake or a thick piece of paper.
Heat a heavy non-stick pan over medium heat, and cook each piadina one at a time, for a minute or two on each side. Remove from pan, place on a clean cloth, and cover as you work one at a time. This helps keep the piadina from drying out.
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