Ciabatta

August 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

For sponge

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105°-115°F)
1⁄3 cup room-temperature water
1 cup bread flour

For bread

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (105°-115°F)
2⁄3 cups room-temperature water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1½ teaspoons salt

Directions

Make sponge

In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl, stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Make bread

In a small bowl, stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl of a blender, blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour and combine with wooden spoon. Add salt and mix. Turn out dough from bowl on floured surface and knead until soft, about 10 minutes. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)

Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12-by-6-inch sheets parchment paper. Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up for edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool

Lemon Preserves

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

3 lemons, de-seeded, and chopped whole, peels included
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients (except basil) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until totally soft and thick. Take off heat and add basil. Cool.

Arugula, Tomato & Lemon Preserves on Ciabatta

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

Ciabatta bread
Arugula leaves
Tomato slices
Goat cheese
Salt & pepper
Lemon preserves (recipe follows)
Olive oil

Directions

Place arugula leaves on both side of the bread and place a tomato on one side and a tablespoon of lemon preserves on the other. Place a dollop of goat cheese on and season with salt and pepper, place the bread slices together and cook in a panini press, making sure to grease the outside of the bread with oil for crispiness.

Lemon Preserves
Makes 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

3 lemons, de-seeded, and chopped whole, peels included
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients (except basil) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until totally soft and thick. Take off heat and add basil. Cool.

Zucchini, Chili & Mint Panini with Parmesan

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-6 Paninis

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, cut into ribbons (using a mandolin)
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped superfine
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Salt
12-18 slices parmesan cheese
Ciabatta bread slices

Directions

In a mixing bowl mix together the zucchini, garlic, lemon juice and mint. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over it and sprinkle with chilies, pine nuts and salt and mix well. Let the zucchini sit for about 10 minutes. After the zucchini has marinated place some parmesan on each side of the bread slices, layer the zucchini ribbons on the cheese and drizzle a little dressing on. Fold the bread over and cook in a panini press making sure that the outside of the bread is greased or oiled for optimal crispness.

Dark Whole Wheat

August 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes 2 regular sized loaves

Ingredients

2 packages (1 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounce bittersweet dark chocolate
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 cups medium rye flour
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose or bread flour
1 cup bran
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon minced shallots

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and sugar with warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Heat two cups water, molasses, vinegar, butter and chocolate until the butter and chocolate are melted. Set aside.

3. Combine whole-wheat, rye and white flours in a large bowl. Set aside.

4. In bowl of a heavy mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine two cups mixed flours, bran, 2 tablespoons caraway seeds, fennel seeds, salt, espresso and shallots. At low speed, add yeast and chocolate mixtures. Mix until smooth and beat at medium speed for three minutes. (If you don’t like whole seeds in your bread, grinding them in a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle allows their flavor to come through without the texture. I always make my black bread this way.)
[Note: This, or any bread, can also be made by hand, simply mixing the ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and kneading the dough on a counter until springy and smooth.]

5. At low speed, add half cup of remaining mixed flours at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl and begins to work its way up paddle. It will be very sticky but firm.

6. Scrape dough off paddle, flour counter well, and knead to make a springy yet dense dough. You might not use all of the flour mixture.

7. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Combine cornmeal, flour and remaining caraway seeds, if using, and set aside.

8. Gently deflate dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two portions and form into two rounds or loaves. Loaves should be placed in a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray, while rounds should be placed seam down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle loaves with cornmeal mixture, if using. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled and puffy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Slash an X into the top of a round before baking it; no such slashing is needed for bread in a loaf pan.

9. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until loaves are well-browned, or register an internal temperature of 200 to 210°F on an instant-read thermometer. Baking time in your oven may vary — check in on the bread when it is 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the baking time to make sure it has not super-speedily baked. Remove from baking sheet to cool completely on a rack.

*Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Fig Compote

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 pound fresh black figs, ripe & sweet, de-stemmed & chopped
1 cup simple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Caramelized Onions

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons onions, red or yellow, sliced in rounds and separated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Madeira, port or sherry (optional)
Pinch of salt

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat the butter and the oil to a medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and continue to sauté slowly stirring for another 10 minutes. Add the thyme and the parsley leaves and continue to sauté, they should be turning brown now and caramelizing. Make sure you scrape the bottom the pan and stir often. Add the Madeira, port or sherry and a little more butter. Sauté a few more minutes until well caramelized and brown.

Fontina Prosciutto Panini with Caramelized Onions & Fig Compote on Dark Wheat

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

2 sliced of Dark Whole Wheat bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 slices fontina cheese, sliced semi thick
2 slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons red caramelized onions (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon fig compote (recipe follows)

Directions

On the insides of the bread slices place on one side fontina cheese and on the other the fig compote, lay the prosciutto in-between and cook in a Panini press, making sure to butter the outsides of the bread for crispness. The bread should be brown and thin and crisp!

Caramelized Onions
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons onions, red or yellow, sliced in rounds and separated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Madeira, port or sherry (optional)
Pinch of salt

Directions

In a large sauté pan heat the butter and the oil to a medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and continue to sauté slowly stirring for another 10 minutes. Add the thyme and the parsley leaves and continue to sauté, they should be turning brown now and caramelizing. Make sure you scrape the bottom the pan and stir often. Add the Madeira, port or sherry and a little more butter. Sauté a few more minutes until well caramelized and brown.

Fig Compote

Ingredients

1 pound fresh black figs, ripe & sweet, de-stemmed & chopped
1 cup simple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often for about 1 hour. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Almond Butter, Banana & Honey Panini

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Hearty, crusty whole grain bread, sliced
½ cup of either almond butter or peanut butter, chunky
2 bananas sliced lengthwise
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon canola oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat Panini grill (or you could use a grill pan with a heavy skillet as a weight). Spray the cooking surface. Brush one side of bread with oil, and place side down on grill. Spoon on nut butter, lay down bananas, and drizzle with honey. Place oiled bread on top, and press sandwich. If using a skillet, flip after about 3-4 minutes. Slice Paninis in ½ and store in a ziplock bag for up to 5 days. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Whole-Wheat Pesto Mozzarella Panini

June 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

038

Serves 6

Ingredients

Whole-wheat bread
Fresh mozzarella slices
Tomato slices
Salt
Basil sauce (recipe follows)
Olive oil

Directions

Place basil sauce on each side of the bread slices and on the basil sauce place sliced mozzarella and tomato, season with a little salt.

Combine the slices to form a sandwich and brunch the top side with olive oil. In a panini pan or cast iron pan on high heat, place the olive oil side of the sandwich down on the pan. Using the heavy panini press top press down to flatten. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until browned and toasty.

Basil Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil

Directions

Mix the ingredients up in a blender until smooth.

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