Best Bread for Panini

When it comes to lunchtime, most people reach for a sandwich. But why settle for any old sandwich when you can sink your teeth into a panini? Paninis are top-tier sandwiches served hot, usually toasted or grilled for superior crunch and flavor.

Are you thinking about making a panini but not sure which bread to use? It’s best to opt for a hearty bread that can “take the heat.” Italian loaves of bread, like ciabatta and focaccia, are highly recommended – considering the panini initially came from Italy.

Hello, everyone! I’m Michelle. I’ve spent the last ten-plus years cooking and baking. During my experience, I’ve made lots of sandwiches, big and small, hot and cold. There is nothing like a panini sandwich served hot, and I’m here to share the top bread to make your panini dreams come true.

Let’s find out which bread is best for paninis!

Best Panini Bread: Top 6 Picks

Making a piping hot panini is a cinch; it all starts with the right type of bread. The bread used for paninis should be strong enough to not only handle plenty of ingredients but to take on the heat of the grill. These are the top six choices.

1. Ciabatta

When it comes to panini-making, ciabatta bread takes the number one spot. It’s nice and flat with an impressive surface area, ensuring you can stack as many ingredients on top without fail. The added thickness also makes sure it can stand up to the necessary high heat temperatures.

Another great thing about Ciabatta? Well, it’s Italian bread. So, if you’re thinking about authenticity here, the Ciabatta is an excellent choice.

With this type of bread, you can stack a mile high, take a bite, close your eyes, and pretend you’re sitting on the beachside of Atrani, Campania. 

2. Focaccia

Another Italian bread that has “panini” written all over it is focaccia. The biggest plus to this type of bread is that it comes with seasonings, including rosemary, thyme, and olive oil, to enhance your sandwich’s flavor instantly.

Flavor enhancement isn’t the only reason to fall head over heels for focaccia, though. You will also love how robust this bread is. With lots of strength in every loaf, you can top focaccia with all your must-have fillings, including meats, cheeses, and veggies, without sogginess or breakage.

3. Baguette

Long, lean, and mean, the baguette is another top-notch solution for panini-making. And okay, it might not be Italian; the baguette has French origins. But it will still work like a charm for paninis. As a bonus, baguettes tend to be much easier to find in local grocery stores than ciabatta or focaccia.

When working with a baguette, you don’t need to go easy on the toppings. Baguettes are known for being a “pillar of strength.” Baguettes will have zero issues holding up your wet and dry ingredients, and the grill is no match for this neutral-flavored loaf of bread.

4. Flatbread

Want to shake things up a bit? Consider flatbread! Flatbread is the ultimate go-to if you’re looking for thinner bread that won’t succumb to the ingredients or heat of the panini maker. 

So, if you’re on the hunt for a thin bread that can withstand the ingredients and heat of a traditional panini, look no further than the flatbread.

5. Sourdough

Honestly, is there anything sourdough bread can’t do? From your morning toast to late-night garlic bread, sourdough can do it all. And in case you’re wondering, yes – sourdough bread can also be the gateway to the most delicious panini you’ve ever tasted.

Sourdough bread is known for its impressively thick crust and chewy center, both of which will translate to your sandwich after it’s grilled or pressed. The famous sourdough flavor will also lend a hand at kicking your panini up a notch.

When it comes to sourdough for paninis, you simply can’t go wrong. Plus, it’s relatively cheap, easy to find, and safe for low-carb dieters – so they don’t have to miss out on all the panini fun.

6. Brioche

This one might come as a surprise, considering brioche bread is known for being light, fluffy, and a tad sweet. But don’t underestimate the brioche loaf. It can easily tackle your biggest, wettest, and most delicious toppings with ease.


There you have it! The top six loaves of bread for panini-making. If you want to learn more about this topic, I’ve found a couple of frequently asked questions that might pique your interest. Let’s check ‘em out!

Can you use regular bread in a panini press?

In all reality, you can use any type of bread you want. However, the biggest thing to consider is whether or not it can handle the ingredients and the heat. Thin and soft loaves of bread might crumble under the pressure. Still edible? Yes. A little sloppy and difficult to eat? Also, yes.

Is artisan bread good for a panini?

Artisan bread is an excellent option for paninis! Artisan pieces of bread are known for being rough and tough. They will be able to handle a slew of typical panini fillings and the intense heat of a grill or panini maker. So, go ahead and use your favorite Artisan bread for your next panini sandwich!

Do you butter the bread for a panini?

You should definitely add butter (or olive oil) to the outside of the bread you’re using for your panini sandwich. This will enhance the crunch factor, leaving you with a delectable sandwich. 

Final Words

A panini is a great option for lunch, and many different types of bread can make it happen. Ciabatta is the top choice, and Focaccia comes in as a close second. However, keep in mind that just about any bread that can withstand toppings and heat can be used for paninis. Yum!

What is your favorite type of bread to use for making paninis? Do you have a kind of bread to add to the list? Comment below so we can try it, too!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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