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How to make the perfect panini in four simple steps

Whip up the perfect panini with this simple guide to sandwich making

When it comes to John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, it's fair to say we have a lot to thank him for. The inventor of – you guessed it – the sandwich, he was the first person to decide that lots of dishes taste even better when you stick them between two bits of bread.

There's a funny story behind his creation. Too addicted to gambling to leave his gaming table for long enough to eat supper, John Montagu circumvented the problem by inventing a whole new type of food: one that was convenient, tasty, and perfect for eating on the go.

But how to do his brainchild justice? Just read on to find out!

Step 1 -  Use the best bread you can find

A sandwich has two main components - the bread and the filling - so if you neglect the first, you're setting yourself up for failure from the word go. That's an especial shame considering how many delicious types of dough are out there, so take the time to choose yours with care. Ideally, you want to look for something that's not only as fresh and healthy as can be but also complements your filling in the tastiest of ways. If you're looking for inspiration, you could always take your lead from Potbelly Sandwich Shops and swap your standard sliced loaf for flatbread a la their Chicken Shawarma Kashkawan.

Step 2 -  Choose plenty of flavoursome toppings

Whether you feel like an Italian BLT, a tuna panini, or cold slices of beef in a burger bun, the second half of this very important equation is to find a filling that fits with your bread, and the possibilities are endless. There are so many different foods that go perfectly between two slices of white, so heed your cravings and play around with what you've got in the house. Ideally, you want either a meat or meat-alternative to add some substance, and then plenty of different veggies to enhance the flavour – a tip The Hamptons Café clearly put into effect when they created their mouth-watering Classic Club Sandwich.    

Step 3 -  Spread

So, you've gotten to the point where your perfect loaf is to your left, and your delicious ingredients are to your right, but before you put them together, there's one more thing you need to do: spread! Butter and margarine are great for injecting some extra flavour, and there are lots of different ways to add them into the equation. A light layer is best if you want your ingredients to do the talking, as demonstrated by the Bresaola and Goat Cheese Sandwich from Massimo's Italian Restaurant, whereas the thicker the better in instances where your filling needs that little something to offset it.  

Step 4 -  Add an extra something

If you think that's the end of it, hold your horses, because you're not quite done yet – you still need to add that extra something, and sauces and dips can be the ideal accompaniments. Whether it's mustard, submarine dressing, or garlic dip, take a look through your cupboards to see what you can throw into the mix to make something magical. As demonstrated by the fantastic Hummus with Meat sandwich from The Hummus House, this little trick really can make all the difference.  

From carefully selecting your bread through to finding the perfect line-up of ingredients, we've shown you how to create a true masterpiece of a sandwich, but remember that there's always Deliveroo if you prefer to leave it to the professionals!

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