Cuban Style Bread (Pan Cubano)
yeast, or 1 package (make sure yeast hasn't expired)
all purpose wheat flour, sifted
bread flour, sifted
lard (shorting won't work)
corn meal, to dust loafs
1Place yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in luke-warm water and stir until it is dissolved. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until bubbles form.
2Add the salt stirring until dissolved.
3Sift flours together and reserve 1/4 cup.
4Pour 1 cup of liquid into a food processor, half the lard, and 2 cups of the sifted flour.
5Repeat with the rest of the flour, lard and water mixture.
6Pulsate mixture 8 times and scrape the sides of the walls.
Turn it on to full for 30 seconds or until dough ball forms.
7If dough is sticky, add the 1/4 cup of reserved flour and pulsate a few times until dough comes together again.
8Remove dough from processor and shape into a ball,
9Place dough in a large greased bowl, turn it a few times so it gets covered with the grease, cover with a dry clean towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size.
10Once the time has elapsed, remove dough from the oven, punch dough to remove excess air and turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and shape into two long French style loafs.
11Arrange loafs onto a greased baking sheet, with a paring knife insert the tip at one end and run down to the other creating a long slit leaving about an inch of untouched bread at each end.
12Heavily sprinkle with cornmeal and allow to rise again for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Brush loafs with water before placing in the oven.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
13Place a shallow pan with water at the bottom of oven so the bread cooks at an even pace. The steam will help the bread bake slower, which results in moister bread.
14Bake bread for 25 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. Half way through the cooking process, brush bread with water once more.
Pre-heat oven to the lowest setting then turn off. This will be a perfect environment for the dough to rise
Originally Posted: Wed, May 21, 2014