Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are 2 posts racing each other in my head at the moment, & I’ve got to panini first. The other one is about herbs, thyme & oregano, which I shall write about soon. Made Panini Rolls a couple of days ago, which I had saved off Nic’s blog @ Cherrapeno last year when she had posted them for Zorra’s World Bread Baking Day. I’ve been wanting to make them for a while, but while winter was here, all yeastly tales were done away with…
Now with spring here, birds chirping, butterflies whizzing around, I’m back to my beloved bread experiments, & decided to make panini rolls. As usual, nothing can be achieved without a little action! I tend to enter into a virtual conversation with Nic whenever I visit her place on the net, & get stupidly distracted. It happened with the Cappuccino Muffins the last time, & with no lessons learnt, happened again this time…but not without redemption! I think it’s overconfidence. First I read the flour as 5oz (the 1lb disappeared while I was reading, I swear it wasn’t there, believe me). Measured 5 oz of flour & wondered how in the world I would get 10 rolls out of 5oz. Back to Nic’s & then I saw 1lb 5oz mysteriously appear in front of my eyes. Gasp, that was a close call!
Message to new bread bakers & less experienced ones like me…learn from my mistakes please. Read the recipe at least thrice, & then set off. I even forgot the olive oil altogether in my hurry to get the dough done. With few modifications & distractions of the ‘Cherrapeno types’, my ‘fat-free’ panini rolls finally got underway…LOL!!
Now I’m calling these pitanini rolls for a reason. Nic mentioned that the rolls have to be ‘fairly thin’, & you can roll them if you like. ‘I like’… so I begin rolling them. Hmmmm …words began forming in the mind again, “Is this fairly thin? Will it rise & become rolly polly?” With this insane conversation taking over my grey matter, I continued rolling with my idea of fairly thin.
I think they became fairly too thin, did rise, but not enough to become rolls. I gave them a milk wash (I cannot do egg wash because of my eggphobia), & sprinkled the tops with oats/sesame seeds. They puffed up nicely & rose in the oven, were a little flat, but had pockets within! Thus ‘Panini roll +Pita pockets = Pitanini roll’ was born by the time we reached sandwich stage!! I substituted a portion of flour with oat flour & some whole wheat flour in the dough, & the result was delicious.
A panino is a sandwich made from a small loaf of bread, typically a ciabatta. The loaf is often cut horizontally and filled with salami, ham, meat, cheese or other food, and sometimes served hot. A grilled panino is buttered on the outside and grilled in a press. The word “panino” is Italian (literally meaning small bread roll), with the plural panini. “Panini” is often used in a singular sense by speakers of English and French. In Italian, panino refers properly to a bread roll and a “panino imbottito” (literally “stuffed panino”) to a sandwich.
1 tbsps active dried yeast (That’s the only sort I had)
Put all the dry ingredients together & mix well. Add the water, about 350ml to begin with, & knead to a soft smooth dough, adding more water as required. Knead well for 5-7 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10, & make rolls out of them, flatten to about an inch for rolls, or 1/2 an inch for pitaninis, & leave on baking sheet to rise until double.
Brush with milk or beaten egg (optional), sprinkle on some rolled oats or sesame seeds (optional), and bake in a pre-heated oven 180C for about 14-16 minutes until golden brown.
For the pitanini/panini/sandwich…
Split each roll horizontally, fill with whatever stuffing you fancy. I used chopped up Balsamic Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a dash of mayo & mozarella. You can use cottage cheese chunks with roasted veggies in there too.
The mozarella is a local brand that I’ve used for the first time, Flanders, & was very good indeed. I’ve used their mascarpone just recently in Balsamic Strawberries with Whipped Mascarpone, but the texture & taste of the mascarpone was a little disappointing. On the other hand, their mozarella is quite the best I’ve tried locally.
I grilled my sandwiches on a grill pan after a brush of olive oil (not buttah!!). Since I don’t own a panini press, I weighed the sandwich down with a heavy something, grilled it for 5-7 minutes, turned it over & grilled the other side too. Was delicious!!