Panini lunghi al pepe nero (Panini with black pepper)

I haven’t done much cooking this week as I’ve been out to dinner a few times. However on Saturday morning I decided to make some panini. The recipe came from the Gino D’Acampo home baking book and is surprisingly easy to do.

Makes 6

250g strong white flour

7g fast acting yeast

1 teaspoon salt (personally I used a little less)

140ml warm water

Olive oil for brushing

Freshly ground black pepper

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and salt and make a well in the centre.

Pour in the warm water and mix to a soft dough.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise, away from draughts for 50 minutes. (I made some lime and chocolate chip squares whilst I was waiting.)

Turn out the dough and punch down, then divide into six equal parts. Roll out each one into a rectangle about 10cms by 5cms and about 1cm thick. (I ended up getting out a metal tape measure to help with this – it sounds like an old joke but 10cms is actually a lot small than you think! 😉 )

Place them on one or two floured baking trays and, with a sharp knife make four diagonal slashes in the top of each one. Bush each with a little oil, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place.

(I was a bit surprised by how little these rose. I don’t know if I did something wrong, maybe the water wasn’t warm enough to properly activate the yeast, or if that’s the size that they’re meant to be. The picture in the book doesn’t show much for scale.)

Preheat the oven to 200.

Brush the tops of the panini with more olive oil and then sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly, Best eaten slightly warm.

These turned out really well, despite their small size. Crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Alberto and I had them buttered with a drizzle of green pesto, some rocket, mozzarella and sliced vine tomatoes.

Panini 2 - resized

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About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate Alberto and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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