Panini are commonly served warm after having been pressed in grilling machines called either panini presses or simply panini machines. I had great time with my Panini sandwich yesterday.
A rainy afternoon with excellent Panini sandwich, in my room watching Monte Carlo. Amazing ! The best part is yet to come- Kids at school, Pranav in office. I am just at peace and my coffee is hot. Only a mom will understand this pleasure. Lol
Getting back to the Panini bread. It’s different and very interesting. This recipe is not complicated at all, although it does take a little bit of planning ahead since the biga (pre-fermentation) needs to be made the night before you plan to bake the bread. But that is what develops the actual flavor
The dough is extremely slack (wet) and sticky; and you will not need any bread kneading machine to do the dough. The technique I am sharing here is specially used for wet moist dough. You might find the time mentioned in the recipe is long but hands-on time is less than an hour total.
To begin – if you are new to bread making; read these (click and learn) because bread baking is an art. And it would be great if you understand the ingredients and how these ingredients work together.
The points to read before we start:
1. We will be using flour with a higher protein level, labelled as bread flour, strong flour, or high-gluten. I prefer adding a pinch of gluten powder to my flour, when the water ratio is high in the recipe. A high water ratio is important in getting nice open crumb in the bread.
2. You will need to prepare Biga a night before (Combine the flour, yeast and water in a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a uniform mass forms. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 15 hours).
3. You might find that the dough is annoyingly sticky and wet. The reason I did the whole kneading process in this blue bowl is to prevent the temptation of adding more flour while kneading. You got to do the same thing.
4. All you have to do is use a dough scraper and a big bowl. Once the basic ingredient mix is done; start using a dough scraper for the rest of the job. Lift the dough gently with the scraper and take one edge of the dough and stretch it slightly and then fold it onto the top of the dough. Turn your bowl 180 degrees and stretch the dough in the same way. Fold the dough over itself by gently lifting and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle. Rotate the bowl;, and fold again. Turn the bowl and fold the dough 6 more times (for a total of 8 times). After some flips, the bottom part of the dough should be on the top.
5. Repeat the process in 30 minutes (So these step needs to be done a total of five times). I know it sounds like too much time; but come on- The bread is gonna be just awesome. And you have all the time free in between the folding process. (I was making Yati do her Maths, Listening Geography from Nitya).
6. Feel free to flavour the bread; but I suggest make a plain one first. I sprinkled some dried basil on top just before baking.
[recipe title=[recipe title=”How to make Panini at home” difficulty=”medium”]
1/4th Teaspoon instant Dry Yeast
2/3rd cup of water
1 Cup Bread Flour (maida)
A pinch of sugar
For the Panini bread
1 Recipe Biga Made The Day Before
2 Cups maida
1 Teaspoons instant Dry Yeast
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
1 Cup Water
1 teaspoon of sugar
For the biga- 1. Mix the biga ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Let the biga rest overnight, covered, or for up to 15 hours.
Place all of the dough ingredients, including the biga, into the bowl and stir until the dough is mixed. (It will be quite wet, and rough in texture.)
Fold the dough over itself by gently lifting and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle using a dough scraper. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, and fold again. Turn the bowl and fold the dough 6 more times with the intervals of 30 minutes. You will see how the gluten works in the wet dough and how the dough gets better and better after every step.
On to a baking tray lined with parchment paper dust some flour (corn meal would be ideal). Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, being careful not to deflate it completely.
Liberally flour the top of the dough and divide it in half with a bench scraper. Turn 1 piece of dough cut-side-up and dust with flour. With well-floured hands shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Fold the shorter sides of the dough toward center, overlapping them like you would fold a letter in thirds, to form another small rectangle. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Gently transfer each loaf, seam-side-down, to the parchment sheets, dust with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaves sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or till almost double in size.
Bake for about 20 minutes, at 400 * F in a preheated oven until the bread is a light golden brown all over.
Remove and let cool on a wire rack.