Dough for Panini Sandwiches

I am soon going to be making panini sandwiches. I had ideas for the fillings, but am looking at different recipes for making my own flatbread. I have a deck oven and a convection oven. I was just in Manhattan, NY last weekend and ate some really tasty panini. I saw in their deli cases the panini was already prepared with the fillings inside. Then they just micowaved them and put them in the panini press. They had both flatbread and focaccia panini. I asked the owner where they get the flatbread panini and he said somewhere in NJ. I can make focaccia, but am wondering if some shop owners make their own flatbread and how it differs from a regular pizza dough recipe. I looked on the King Arthur Flour website and I saw different recipes for panini. I usually use All Trumps flour and really like how it handles and the dough preforms so well, but just bought some KASL flour because of the others being bromated. I am going to try the KASL flour this week to see how it performs in my pizza dough crust.
Any idea?
Thanks, Norma

We used to use our regular pizza dough, about 5 oz. I believe…greased up a 5" round aluminum tin…spritzed it w/H2O & a little basil/parm…covered & proofed on top of the oven…baked/split/filled/baked open face…

Patriot’sPizza,
Thanks for your advise. That sounds great with the basil/parm. What does the spritz of H2O do? Does it keep the dough from drying out? I will try my regular pizza dough this week and see how it turns out. I plan on purchasing a panini grill.
Norma

Norma;
Your deck oven really isn’t designed to get hot enough to make a good flat bread (750 to 850F). But, if you are going to use the bread pretty soon after baking it, you might try using 600F for the baking temperature. Use your regular pizza dough, after mixing, allow the dough to ferment for 1-hour, then divide it into 4.5-ounce pieces and form into balls. Allow the dough balls to ferment again at room temperature until they can be sheeted or rolled out with a rolling pin to roughly 10-inches in diameter. Place the pinned-out dough skins on a lightly floured surface and allow to proof for about 20-minutes, then carefully brush off any excess flour and peel into the oven for baking. You will need to experiment with the baking time, but it wil most likely be in the 1-minute time range. True flat breads are baked for 25 to 35-seconds. Spray the baked bread lithtly with water to collapse the pocket, allow to cool for about 5-minutes on a wire screen, then stack not more than 5-high, and after about 45-minutes, place into a plastic bag to prevent drying.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,
Yes, I would be using the bread the same day I would be making it. I mix my dough the day before and I could weigh the balls then. I also was wondering if in the future I could add herbs to the dough to make a herbed flatbread? Could you tell me if this is correct? Do you spray the bread after it comes out of the oven? I will try that this week. Do you mind telling me how does the spritz make the finished dough collapse? I will try different baking times. I will be using your Lehmann dough recipe at about 60% hydration. I have started using KASL flour because all the controversy about bromated flour. I have tried Pillsbury Balancer, Kyrol, All Trumps and now KASL. I just starting using the KASL this week and find it satisfactory. The only problem I have with it is being more careful in opening the dough because it seems more extensible and can get thinner faster.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question and the tips about cooling on a rack, then stacking 5 high and putting into a plastic bag.
Norma

Norma;
The water spritz collapses the pocket through rapid cooling, resulting in contraction, of the air and water vapor within the pocket, hence it collapses. Additionally, since you won’t be making an “authentic” flat bread, the pocket side (top) of the bread piece will be thinner (much) than the bottom part. The water spray helps to keep the thin crust from becoming excessively dry and brittle, thus improving the rolling (flexability) properties. As for adding herbs, sure, not a problem, just be sure not to over do it with the onion and garlic as these two will cause an excessively soft dough if over uesd.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,
Thanks for the additional information. I will let you know how the panini’s turn out. I will have to go over some day at my stand and experiment how high my Baker’s Pride GP-61 deck oven will go. Maybe if the temperature can go up to 700 degrees, I would be able to make an authentic flatbread. Do you know if there would be any difference in making the dough for authentic flatbread? Sorry to ask all these questions, but I am still learning and trying new things.
Thanks again, I appreciate all the help you have given me.
Norma

Norma;
A typical flat bread dough formula is as follows:
Folur: 100%
Salt:1%
Yeast (compressed) 1%
Oil: 1%
Water: 50%
Mix to a smooth dough, target for a 80F finished dough termperature, allow the dough to bulk ferment for 1-hour after mixing, then divide into individual pieces for each flat bread, and allow to proof for 15 to 20-minutes, then sheet or pin out to size, allow the formed dough pieces to final proof (rise) for anout 20-minutes and bake at 700F of hotter. Typical baking time will be a couple seconds on either side of 30-seconds.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor