Keys to the Perfect Panini (Without the Press)
Here are the three keys to a perfect homemade panini.
In lieu of a $100 panini press, here’s how to make panini that look and taste authentic. If you don’t have a grill pan, use a preheated nonstick pan instead; you’ll miss out on the grill marks, but the panini will still be as crisp as any made in a press.
GOOD GRILL PAN
To give the panini their characteristic grill marks, use a large nonstick grill pan, such as the Simply Calphalon Nonstick 13-Inch Round Grill Pan ($39.95), which won our testing of eight leading grill pans.
HEAVY DUTCH OVEN
For a perfectly crisp exterior and gooey interior, weight the panini with a Dutch oven (wrapped in aluminum foil for easy cleanup).
A rustic 8-inch loaf (often called a boule) with a crusty exterior and substantial, slightly chewy crumb works best here.