Piadina (Italian Flatbread)

Laura Lazzaroni's recipe for piadina, a traditional Italian flatbread usually made with lard, is the one she has come to rely on at home. It's made with extra-virgin olive oil (instead of lard) and sourdough starter discard. Lazzaroni lets the dough ferment in the fridge for 2 days: This adds creaminess and a delicious hint of acidity. She also seeks out flavor-packed specialty flours to make her flatbread special. Nutty whole-wheat flour and semola rimacinata, a finely ground, twice-milled flour, contribute to the flatbread's soft, fluffy texture. You can find it at specialty grocery stores or online at italianfoodonlinestore.com.

Fluffy Italian Flatbread
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
1 day 4 hrs 30 mins


  • 3.50 cups white whole-wheat flour (such as King Arthur) (about 14 ounces)

  • ¾ cup semola rimacinata flour (such as Caputo) (about 4 3/8 ounces), plus more for work surface

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing, brushing, and, if desired, serving

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter discard (2 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. flaky sea salt

  • 1.50 cups warm water (about 82°F)

  • Ghee or thinly sliced guanciale, for serving (optional)


  1. Stir together white whole-wheat flour and semola flour in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil; using your fingers, rub oil into flour mixture until evenly combined and any beads of oil are dispersed, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sourdough starter and salt. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water over mixture. Form your hand into the shape of a hook, and mix dough until dough is smooth and all dry ingredients are incorporated, about 2 minutes. Cover bowl with a clean towel, and let dough rest 20 minutes.

  2. Uncover bowl. Using wet hands to prevent dough from sticking, stretch and fold dough over itself in bowl until it feels tight and elastic (a sign that the gluten is well developed), 4 to 6 minutes. If dough starts to tear, stop stretching, and let rest 2 minutes before resuming. Cover bowl with a clean towel, and let dough rest until relaxed and risen slightly, 2 to 3 hours.

  3. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide evenly into 12 pieces (about 2 7/8 ounces each). To shape each dough piece, form a claw with your hand, and rotate it in a circle, gently pressing down on top of the dough piece. The dough will pull across the unfloured surface and form a tight ball. Arrange dough balls, evenly spaced, in a lightly greased (with oil) 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap. Chill at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours. (Chilling for an extra day gives the flatbread a more complex flavor.)

  4. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand in baking pan at room temperature until dough is relaxed and no longer cool to the touch, 1 to 2 hours. (If working in a warm environment [around 85°F], let dough stand for only 1 hour.)

  5. Working with 1 dough ball at a time and keeping remaining dough balls covered in pan, transfer dough ball to a lightly floured (with semola flour) surface. Dust top of ball with semola flour. Using the palm of your hand, flatten ball slightly; using your fingertips, stretch it into a 5-inch disk. Using a rolling pin, start from center of disk and roll outward, rotating disk often, to form a 7 1/2-inch round, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Lightly brush with oil. (If using a terra-cotta flatbread baking dish or a comal, heat over medium-high or high, and do not grease.) Toss dough round gently between your hands to stretch it into an 8-inch round, and carefully place dough round in preheated skillet. Cook until dough puffs up (in 1 large bubble or several small bubbles) and bottom is covered in a leopard pattern of golden spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until dough is cooked through and speckled on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet, and brush both sides lightly with oil. Keep warm in a folded towel or a tortillero with lid. Repeat process with remaining dough balls, wiping skillet clean and brushing with oil between flatbreads. Serve warm.


Find semola rimacinata flour at specialty grocery stores or online at italianfoodonlinestore.com.

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