The recipe for fiadoni from Abruzzo originally came from the aristocratic kitchens of Ferrara (some historians say it might have been the Medici court’s cooks who invented it) in the 1500s. Back then, these delicious cheese puffs were made with saffron harvested in the Navelli plains. As centuries passed, the precious spice was eliminated from the recipe and adapted to more humble kitchens. Today, to my endless delight, fiadoni can be found in many bakeries throughout the year. Here is an easy fiadoni abruzzesi recipe.
300g plain flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten + 1 egg for brushing
100ml olive oil
100ml dry white wine (Trebbiano or Pecorino if you want to keep the recipe 100% Abruzzese)
splash of milk
175g pecorino cheese (pecorino from Abruzzo and pecorino Romano are both good), grated
150g parmesan or rigatino cheese, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4g instant dried yeast (optional)
a pinch of black pepper
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. Bring the mixture together using a fork or spoon, then knead the dough with your hands for two minutes until smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, combine the cheeses, eggs, yeast and black pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Divide the dough into two-three parts and roll it into sheets 2mm thick working one piece at a time. Cut out circles about 10cm in diameter (you can use a cookie cutter). Make sure the individual circles do not bounce back, if they do, roll them again. Place one tablespoon of filling in each circle, then fold over and pinch the dough with your fingers to seal, so they look like large ravioli. Whisk the remaining egg with the milk and lightly brush the fiadoni. Make a small incision in the top to let the cheese filling ooze out in the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until pale golden on top. Fiadoni are best eaten when warm, but will keep in a paper bag or airtight container for several days.