Paola Bacchia's Fiadoni abruzzesi (puffed cheese bites) recipe

Paola Bacchia's fiadoni abruzzesi (puffed cheese bites).
Paola Bacchia's fiadoni abruzzesi (puffed cheese bites).  Photo: Paola Bacchia

 Fiadoni abruzzesi (puffed cheese bites)

When I was in Abruzzo, I bought fiadoni from the forno (bakery) that were warm, cheesy and so very light. Thin bread-like pastry is cut into circles and traditionally mounds of cheese and egg are placed in the centre, before closing the circle into a half moon, and making a pattern on the edges with a fork. Small incisions are made on the top of the fiadone to allow a little cheese to escape as they cook. These savoury fiadoni should not to be confused with sweet fiadoni from Corsica.

Dough

300g (2 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

3 eggs, lightly beaten

100ml olive oil

100ml dry white wine

splash of milk

Filling

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175g rigatino cheese (or substitute pecorino sardo or pecorino toscano), grated

150g parmesan, grated

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4g instant dried yeast

1. Place the flour and a pinch of salt in a large wide bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk two of the eggs with the oil and wine. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon, bring the mixture together, then start using your hands to knead the dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for two minutes until smooth. The mix will be quite soft, stretchy and pliable. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes while you make the filling.

2. To make the filling, combine the cheeses, egg, yeast and black pepper, to taste, in a bowl. Mix with a spoon to form a cohesive mass, then set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

4. Divide the dough into two. Working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to 2mm thick. The dough will be stretchy and sturdy. Cut out circles using a 10cm cookie cutter, then roll the individual circles a little more as they tend to bounce back. Place one tablespoon of filling in the centre of each circle, then fold over and pinch the dough with your fingers to seal, making sure you have not incorporated any air. Use the tines of a fork to press down and secure the edges further. Transfer to the prepared baking tray.

5. Whisk the remaining egg with the milk and lightly brush the tops of the fiadoni. Make a small incision in the top of each parcel.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pale golden on top and cooked through. The fiadoni will have puffed and crisped up, and may have split open a little (giving them a rustic look). They are best eaten when warm, but will keep in an airtight container for one to two days in the fridge.

Makes 20-24

Recipe from Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99