Piadina is a thin yeast-free Italian flatbread that you can fill with anything you like and enjoy for a light lunch, snack, or dinner.
Our recipe is easy to make, with four simple ingredients: flour, water, olive oil, and salt.
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What to expect
If you walk on the Italian Mediterranean Riviera in the Emilia-Romagna area, around the cities of Rimini and Riccione, you would notice that every single café and kiosk on the seaside sells Piadina Romagnola alla Riminese.
Piadina is a very popular type of Italian flatbread that is surprisingly similar to a Mexican tortilla. It's a thin, flat, circular unleavened flatbread made with wheat flour that is versatile and can be eaten as a snack like a sandwich or as a main dish for a quick lunch or dinner.
You can fill Italian flatbread with pretty much anything you like. You can fold it in half, cut it into triangles, or roll it like a wrap.
Olive Oil or Lard?
There are two main types of piadina in Italy: one is made with lard, the other with olive oil. Since this is a vegetarian blog, we are going to show you how to make Italian flatbread with olive oil, which is convenient because you can serve this to anyone, vegans included.
The two most popular fillings for piadina are "prosciutto" (Italian cured ham) and stracchino and arugula (an Italian soft cheese). We make a mean dairy-free melty cheese that is extremely similar to the Italian one, and it's perfect inside this Italian flatbread.
From our recipe, you can expect a soft, thin, rollable, foldable, and easy-to-make Italian flatbread.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Flour: all-purpose flour or bread flour are best. You can also do it with half all-purpose and half whole-wheat flour, but the flatbread will turn out dry and harder to fold.
- Water: best if warm water, not hot or cold.
- Olive oil: piadina is traditionally made with lard, but nowadays most people prefer to make it with extra virgin olive oil. We also do it like that.
- Salt: to add taste to the Italian flatbread.
To make piadina you will need a clean worktop, a bowl, and a rolling pin to shape and flatten the dough.
To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, warm water, and olive oil. Mix the ingredients with a spatula until you have a dough ball.
Transfer the dough to a worktop that you previously sprinkled with flour, and knead for 5 minutes until you have a smooth, soft but compact dough ball.
Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, then shape each piece into a ball. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
Resting is important because it allows the gluten in the flour to relax and it'll be easier for your to roll out the dough.
After the dough has rested, start warming up a non-stick pan on low-medium heat.
While the pan warms up you can flatten the first ball into a thin, round flatbread (piadina).
Rotate the dough often while you roll it out, so that you get a regular round shape. You should aim for 3mm thick discs. Sprinkle the worktop and the dough with flour to prevent it from sticking.
Cook the piadina on the hot non-stick pan. The pan should be hot, but the heat/flame should be low. Let cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
When it's cooked, put it on a plate in between a clean kitchen cloth. This will help preserve moisture. Repeat with the other Italian flatbreads till you are done.
Fill up with your favorite filling and enjoy! We use our melty vegan cheese with arugula as a filling.
- Lunch: This piadina is perfect as a quick and wholesome lunch with vegan tuna and leaves of lettuce inside. They are wonderful for meal prep, and as a healthy lunch for kids. You can basically use any of your favorite salads and spreads as filling. Try this chickpea salad, and this vegan mayo together, it is an easy but tasty lunch.
- As an easy dinner: Italian flatbread is incredibly versatile and is wonderful for a quick and healthy dinner. You can serve the flatbreads with guacamole, this one-pot chickpea stew, and a side of cauliflower rice. They will be a perfect addition to a buffet where everyone can pick and choose their favorite fillings!
- Let the dough rest: it's important so that the gluten network can relax and it will be easier for you to roll out the dough. A 15 to 30 minutes rest should be enough. Cover the dough with a cloth during this time.
- Don't let it dry: don't let the dough dry out in the air. Keep it covered under a kitchen cloth. Dry dough is hard to flatten, and it will result in a harder drier Italian flatbread.
- Roll out one at a time: it's best to roll out the dough one piadina at a time, just before cooking it. This will prevent the Italian flatbread from drying.
- Preserve moisture: while cooking the flatbreads one after the other, you can put the cooked ones on top of each other, covered/wrapped by a clean kitchen cloth to preserve moisture.
Store Italian flatbread in a plastic bag for up to 2 days. It can be reheated for a few minutes in the oven or on the same pan where it was cooked.
You can also store piadina in the freezer for up to 3 months. They just need to cool down completely before you put them in a plastic bag and in the freezer.
For many more bread ideas, check out our bread category page.
Italian Flatbread (Piadina)
- Rolling pin
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water warm
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- To a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix with a spatula till you get a dough.
- Transfer the dough on a worktop that you previously sprinkled with flour, and knead for 5 minutes until you have a smooth and soft dough ball.
- Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces, then shape each piece into a ball. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- With the help of a rolling pin, roll out the first ball into a thin, round flatbread (piadina). Rotate the dough often while you roll it out so that you get a nice round shape. You should aim for 3mm thick discs. Sprinkle the worktop and the dough with flour to prevent it from sticking.
- Cook the piadina on a hot non-stick pan. The pan should be hot, but the heat/flame should be low. Let cook for about 1.5 - 2 minutes on each side.
- When the flatbread is cooked, put it on a plate in between a clean kitchen cloth. This will help preserve moisture. Repeat with the other flatbreads till you are done.
- Fill up with your favourite filling and enjoy!