Homemade Panini Bread

Homemade Panini Bread

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Rise and Rest Time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 28 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
349 Calories
6g Fat
65g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 533mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Panini, those pressed grilled sandwiches loaded with delicious ingredients, are commonly (and accurately) thought of as Italian, but their popularity has spread far and wide. In Casablanca and other urban areas in Morocco, for example, you'll have no trouble finding panini machines for sale alongside coffee makers and other kitchen electronics. Supermarkets and bakeries also sell par-baked panini rolls that you finish baking in your oven at home for making sandwiches.

While it's tempting to yield to the convenience of those store-bought rolls, the taste and texture of homemade panini bread far exceeds the commercial variety. When time allows, you can make your own. 

The recipe here yields enough rolls for a family of four; double the recipe if serving a larger group or if you wish to stock your freezer. 

Enjoy the rolls with sandwich ingredients of your choice, such as grilled chicken, or try using them to make Moroccan kefta panini.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast

  • 2 tablespoons very soft butter, or oil

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade panini bread ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.

    Flour, salt and sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Add the yeast, butter, and enough warm water to make a soft, sticky dough. Add a little more flour or a little more water if necessary to achieve that consistency.

    Panini dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. Knead the dough by hand or with an electric stand mixer and dough hook for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic; the dough should remain tacky so you may find that a stand mixer is easiest.

    Kneaded panini dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, gather it up into a mound, and turn it over. Cover the bowl with plastic and then a towel and set aside in a draft-free place to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes in a very warm kitchen or an hour or longer in a cool kitchen.

    Panini dough rising in an oiled bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Divide the dough into 10 to 12 plum-sized balls. Set the balls of dough on a lightly floured surface, cover, and leave to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

    small balls of dough formed with hands

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Preheat oven to 400 F.

    Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take a ball of dough and gently spread and shape it into a flat, oblong roll about 6 inches in length. Transfer it to the prepared pan and repeat with the remaining dough, allowing space between each roll for expansion. Cover and leave the rolls to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.

    dough pieces on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  8. Place the panini rolls in the middle of the oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until set and barely colored. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing lengthwise along one side and building sandwiches.

    Homemade Panini Bread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

What Is the Difference Between Panini and Ciabatta

So, not all panini is made with ciabatta, and not all ciabatta is used for panini. To put a finer point on it? Ciabatta is a type of bread, whereas panini just refers to any kind of sandwich, regardless of the bread used, (sliced or a roll)—although it can be and often is ciabatta, along with Italian bread, focaccia, or even in some cases, a baguette will work. As a bread type, ciabatta is made with a stronger flour and uses a much wetter dough than traditional long Italian or French bread loaves.

How to Use Panini Bread

Because it's grilled, it's hard to avoid thinking about the numerous ways that cheese can go into one of these sandwiches. But this method is great for veggies and other ingredients too, because it presses the sandwich together and combines the flavors in a unique way.


Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella Panini

Grilled Cheese Using a Panini Press

Vegetarian Apple Cheddar Panini


Other grilled sandwiches can easily be made in a panini press using panini bread if you like, such as a reuben, a grilled cheese with caramelized onions, a grilled Cuban sandwich, or a tuna melt.