The panino is a filled bread roll — basically a sandwich for those of us who are not protecting a heritage. Panini (more than one panino) are all about kids — they are little rolls for little hands and are easy to cut to size and fill with your choice of filling.



To make panini, follow the instructions for making olive oil dough. To divide and shape the panini, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press down until it is about 5 cm (2 inches) high. Roll out the dough to about 2 cm (¾ inch) thick all over — the dough should be smooth with no dimples in the surface. Flip up half of the dough onto itself and dust the bench underneath with flour. Lay the dough back down on the floured bench. Repeat with the other half of the dough. This will ensure the dough does not stick when you start to divide the rolls. Let the dough rest for 5–10 minutes so it can shrink back to its correct shape.

Cut the dough lengthways into 4 cm ( inch) wide strips, then cut each strip at 4 cm ( inch) intervals to make neat squares. You can use 180 g ( oz) of these trimmings as ferment for the next dough or freeze for the next dough. To make round panini, use a pastry cutter with a 4 cm ( inch) diameter.

Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Place the panini on baking trays lined with baking paper, dust with alittle flour or semolina. Set aside in a warm, humid place (25°C/77°F) to prove for about 20–30 minutes. Once proved, the panini should have risen by one-third and look like taut fluffy pillows. When you push a finger into them, they should spring back and not deflate. If they are sagging they are over-proved.

Place the panini in the oven and spray the oven with water. Bake for 10 minutes then, depending on the size of your panini, you may need to turn the tray and bake for a further 5–10 minutes, or until they have grown by one-third and are golden brown.