A few years ago, when I had just started this blog, I wrote about the outrage that is Italian breakfast. I still feel this is relevant, as I still haven’t changed my ways, and neither have the Italians – I start my day with something savoury, they start theirs with something sweet. You might think this is a matter of personal preference. Think again. In the blue corner there’s me, a dictatorial type with very little patience for views concerning food other than my own. In the red corner there’s Italians, a nation of people who have some pretty clear ideas on what you should eat at what time of the day, and who are convinced of being right about anything food-related.
A friend of mine even enquired after my curious habits recently, it’s that much of an issue. “So, dictatress, do you still stick to your savoury breakfast?”
“Of course I do. How do you even know about this?”
“You know what they say, right? ‘When in Rome…’”
Yeah, well, I’m not conforming to such a barbaric practice. If you all want to start your day with a boost of pure sugar and microwaved milk, that’s your choice. But I’m not having any of it.
I found an unexpected ally in my flatmate, who has been eating nothing but savoury breakfast for ages. He makes these fantastic piadine, or flatbreads, which are really quite astounding and fantastic and sweet baby Jesus, so easy to make! I couldn’t believe it.
How he got into the habit of making these and having them for breakfast is by now the stuff of legends – something about a Portuguese previous flatmate who used to have savoury breakfast and showed him the way. He then showed me and here we go, now I’m showing all of you. I’m not entirely sure he’s on board with me posting the recipe on the blog – he was muttering something about stolen recipes vs original ones yesterday, but I think he’s just peeved because mine keep turning out nicer than his. Either way, all credit for this recipe goes to my lovely flatmate who was kind enough to show me how to make my new favourite thing in the world for breakfast.
Something else my flatmate isn’t on board with, is the following: ingredients and quantities. He does everything ad occhio, or by roughly guessing how much he’ll need. Although I agree that this is usually the way to go, and is in fact the way I cook almost anything, I’ve committed to bringing you somewhat coherent recipes and so, for your convenience, I have written down how much I’ve used of everything. However, the quantities will vary slightly depending on the flour you’re using, so don’t be shy and just add more flour or water or whatever you feel the dough needs. You’re aiming for a smooth ball of dough that you can easily knead without getting it stuck to your hands.
So to make 5 or 6 piadine, you’ll need about:
- 300gr of flour
- 200ml water
- 25gr of oil – not sure how much this is in volume, I’d say about 4 or 5 tbsp
- 2 or 3 generous pinches of salt
Put all the ingredients in a bowl together, stir with a wooden spoon until the dough seems to stick together fairly well. Add more water or flour if the dough is too dry or too sticky. Knead the dough a bit more with your hands, then divide it into portions. Roll them out on a floured surface, then heat a frying pan with no oil or anything, and quickly heat the piadine on both sides. They’ll only need a couple of minutes.
You can serve them straight away, or you can save them in the fridge for breakfast (make sure you wrap them well so they don’t dry out. Either way, before you serve them, heat them, then stuff them with whatever you like.