Italian Panini bread is a traditional sandwich bun made to hold all kinds of delicious fillings. With a golden-brown crispy crust and a tender inside, these panini buns are great for cold cut sandwiches, pulled pork and burgers alike!
In North America, ordering or making a panini usually means it's going to be served hot on a flatbread, such as focaccia with a melted filling. But in Italy, a panini sandwich refers to the bread which is essentially any sandwich bread, whether it is hot or not.
With this panini bread, the choice is yours as it can be used for any type of sandwich, hot or cold!
Serve these Italian sandwich buns at any party or BBQ alongside your favourite cold cuts and cheeses for people to assemble as they'd like or have them premade for your guests to pick up and enjoy.
Panini buns are perfect for school lunches, sloppy joes, pulled meat, and of course, a basket of these buns is a great addition to your dinner table.
No need to break out your panini press for this recipe unless you want to. By using a few simple ingredients, and with under half an hour bake time, you'll be breaking into a nice crusty bun in no time!
How to make them
Whisk together the flour, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Make a well in the middle and add the milk and butter. Use the dough hook to begin kneading. Add the salt and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, rolling the dough to cover lightly in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free area.
Punch the dough down then form into balls and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Cover with plastic and let rise again.
Pre-heat the oven. Make the egg wash and brush on the panini. If you wish to sprinkle seeds such as poppy or sesame on top, you may do this now.
Bake until golden brown and let cool on a wire rack before enjoying with your favourite fillings!
How to store homemade buns
Homemade panini will keep for 3-5 days at room temperature in a cool dry area. If you are wanting to freeze them, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Once thawed at room temperature, put in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees to crisp back up again.
What is egg wash?
Egg wash is a combination of egg and water and is used to brush over baked breads before that final bake to create that golden brown exterior. If you are going to be sprinkling seeds on top it also helps them to stick to the bun.
What toppings go well with panini?
Cold cuts such as ham, turkey, prosciutto work well along with sliced cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar, provolone, and Havarti. If cold cut sandwiches aren't your thing, try some pulled pork or BBQ pulled chicken with a bit of coleslaw on top. They can also be used as burger buns and of course crusty bread as a side to any soup or stew.
So if you are looking for a simple, soft bun that is perfect on its own or as a sandwich, why not give this Italian Panini Bread Recipe a try and let me know what you think!
Italian Panini Bread Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour (250 grams)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup + 3 ½ tablespoons milk (lukewarm 105F/40C)* (100 grams)
- ¼ cup butter (softened) (53 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
* I used 2 % milk.
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water or milk
- In the stand up mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and sugar, make a well in the middle and add the milk and butter, with the dough hook knead for about 4 minutes then add the salt, continue to knead for another 5-6 minutes until the dough is smooth, the dough will be slightly sticky.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, rolling the dough to cover lightly in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft free area for about 2 hours.
- Punch the dough down then form into 9 dough balls about 30 grams or just over 1 ounce each, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic and let rise for about 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C)
- Beat together the egg and water and brush on the panini, sprinkle with seeds (sesame, poppy etc. if desired). Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack, fill with your favourite cold cuts or filling. Enjoy!