13 February 2008

mushroom piadini with lemon zest

mushroom piadinis

After a visit to the doctor two weeks ago, I found out I might have a pre-ulcer condition. The results came back negative, but while we were waiting for the news, I decided to stay away from anything acidic that might upset my stomach, aka, the most beloved tomatoes. But anyone who knows me and Jason knows how piadini-obsessed we are, and we weren't going to let this get in the way of that! We decided to try a new topping. We've talked about new toppings before, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to have a piadini without that wonderful marinated tomato topping that we love so much. I am so glad that we finally pushed ourselves to try something new because these are amazing!

I've posted the recipe before, but I'll post it again for those who have missed it. We've since cut it down to half the size, but we still make this into 4, so there are 4 much smaller piadinis. Much cuter, and easier to handle on the stove. We've also switched to using King Arthur's white wheat flour instead of all purpose in an attempt to eat more whole wheat. This flavor is much better than using all regular whole wheat, and is healthier than using part whole wheat and part all purpose. If you don't have any on hand, you can use all purpose flour or half white and half wheat (using whole wheat flour, you may need to add slightly more water)

Piadini Sponge Ingredients:
1 tsp yeast (active dry or instant)
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup white wheat flour

Piadini Dough Ingredients:
3/4 cup white wheat flour
1/4 cup + up to 2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Combine all the sponge ingredients and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon. Let it sit uncovered at room temperature for about 30 minutes. The sponge should start to grow slightly and have bubbles when it's ready.

Add to this bowl the wheat flour and 1/4 cup water. Add up to 2 tablespoons more water if the dough is too dry. It should be sticky yet manageable, with just enough water to pull all the flour together. The salt is optional. Jason stopped using salt in the piadinis and hasn't found that they taste or feel any different, so we don't add it. Why add extra salt to our diets if it isn't necessary?

Turn the dough onto a VERY well floure surface. Jason finds that using whole wheat flour for this step produces the best texture. Knead until the dough is soft but no longer sticky, about 6-7 minutes. If the dough starts tearing easily when you knead it, you've gone too long. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, covered, for 45 minutes. While the dough is rising, you can prepare the topping:

Piadini Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or more! add as much as you want! or at least, how much can fit)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
zest of half a medium lemon
a pinch of flour

Shred the mozzarella, divide it into 4 pieces and set it aside. In butter (or oil if you prefer), cook the garlic for about one minute. I like do this slightly below medium so that the garlic doesn't start to brown. Add the mushrooms and a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook until they're soft. Stir in the lemon zest and cook for about 1 minute. If the ingredients in the pan are too watery, don't drain off the water. Just add a pinch of flour and stir to thicken the juices.

To make the piadini, divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working one at a time, flatten the ball of dough into a thin circle (it will puff up more when cooking) on wax paper or a silicone mat to keep from sticking to the counter. Place on a pre-heated skillet on medium heat, and flaten more with the back of your spatula. Add shredded mozzarella and continue flattening that down some. Check for the texture of the piadini to determine if it's done. It should feel firm, yet soft when you press it with your finger. You may need to turn the heat up or down some depending on if it's starting to burn too easily or if it's not cooking fast enough. They usually cook in 4-6 minutes each. Once it's done, move to a plate and add 1/4 of the mushroom mixture to one side of the piadini. Add some freshly grated parmesan and fold in half. Keep it in a warm oven while you cook the rest.

The lemon in this is just enough to give a fresh contrast to the mushrooms, but not too much that it's overpowering. Of course, almost anything would be wonderful on dough like this. Please share any other topping ideas you might have :)

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