Hailing from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, this simple flatbread filled with a selection of herbs, meat and cheeses was once the poor-man’s bread, but has since become one of the country’s most popular street snacks. It has been described as the bread of the Romagnoli people and is so strongly linked with its region that it now has Protected Geographical Indication status.
- 525 g (3½ cups) plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 115 g lard, softened, chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to serve
- 200 g fontina (see Note), thinly sliced
- 16 slices prosciutto
- basil leaves and lemon wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Place flour, baking powder and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead, adding lard one piece at a time, for 2 minutes or until well incorporated.
Knead, gradually adding milk, on low speed until a dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion out to form a 3 mm-thick oval shape. Working with one portion at a time, brush both sides with oil, place in a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly charred.
Top with the fontina, prosciutto and basil. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with extra oil and fold in half. Serve with lemon wedges.
• Fontina, from delis and specialist food shops, is a melting Italian cheese. Substitute other good melting cheeses such as Gruyère or gouda.
Photography Chris Chen
As seen in Feast magazine, March 2014, Issue 29. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.