Top | Panini Express
(recipe, Daniel Leader & Lauren Chattman)
- ½ cup (114 grams/4 ounces) tepid water (70 to 78 degrees)
- 1 tsp. (5 grams/0.2 ounce) instant yeast
- 2 Tbsp. (25 grams/0.9 ounce) sunflower or canola oil
- 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (250 grams/8.8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. (5 grams/0.2 ounce) sea salt or kosher salt
- Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast, oil, flour, and salt, and stir with a rubber spatula just long enough to blend into a dough. With the dough hook, mix the dough on low speed (2 on a KitchenAid mixer) for 1 minute. Turn the speed to medium (6 on a KitchenAid mixer) and knead until it becomes coherent, but is still very soft, about 6 minutes more. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm and draft-free spot until it has increased in volume about 1½ times, about 1 hour.
- Alternatively, pour the water into a large bowl. Add the yeast, oil, flour, and salt and stir with a rubber spatula just long enough to blend into a dough. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it until it is a smooth but soft — not bouncy — ball, 4 to 7 minutes. Let rise as indicated in the previous step.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cut it into 6 equal pieces. Sprinkle with flour and lightly drape the pieces with plastic wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll one piece of the dough into a thin 9-inch round. Spray a large frying pan or pancake griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Grill the rolled-out dough until blistered and lightly browned, turning once with tongs, 4 to 7 minutes total. Transfer the grilled bread to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining breads.
- To use in a grilled sandwich, simply spread your filling on one-half of the bread and fold the other half over the filling to create a half-moon. Grill according to recipe instructions.