A few weeks ago the chef on Better Homes and Gardens made some piadine/piadina, an unleavened flatbread. He used lard, and lard isn't something in the fridge usually, so I sought out a more user friendly recipe. Stephanie Alexander has one in her giant tome which uses olive oil and so that's the one I went with.
I halved the recipe because 20 is an awful lot, and not having a terracotta tile and gas hotplates, it's good these can be cooked on the stove top in a heavy based fry pan. It takes about 45 minutes to mix and stand the dough.
- 500g plain flour
- 1/2 tspn baking powder
- 250ml tepid water
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, and add the water and oil. Mix to combine and then knead for 10 minutes by hand, or a commensurate amount of time by machine. The dough should be light and stretchy but not sticky. If it is sticky, add a little flour and work it in by hand.
After 30 minutes, place the pan on the stove over a medium high heat.
Divide the dough into 20 even pieces and roll into small balls. Roll out into 2mm thick rounds, shake off any excess flour and place into the dry, hot pan. Cook for 3 minutes and then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. The bread should have dark almost burned spots on it, and will have puffed up in places.
You will know immediately if the pan is hot enough because if it isn't, the flatbread won't puff up with bubbles. The one on the left is nice and puffed in places and has lovely brown bits. The one on the right is flat as a pancake and doughy. It's like the first pikelet. I had to turn the heat up a tad and then the second one was perfect. I always expect to need a trial run.
You can keep the flatbeads warm in the oven, or wrapped in a teatowel until ready to serve. In a big pan you could obviously cook more than one at a time. Serve them with a green salad, or with a curry, or with fresh tomatoes, olives and basil. Really, anywhere you would use a flat bread.