Cuban Bread

1
Vickie Parks

By
@Northwestgal

Cuban Bread is the standard bread choice for making Cuban Sandwiches. It's a dense loaf that's similar to French Bread or a rustic Italian baguette.

Lard is the traditional fat used in making Cuban Bread that gives it its great taste. Some cooks prefer shortening or canola oil because they're easier to find. And that's OK if it's your only choice, but lard is preferred for optimal results in taste and texture. The starter takes 12 hours, so plan accordingly!

Pressing kitchen twine (or metal skewers) into the top of the dough before baking is another touch that's unique to Cuban Bread.

Rating:

★★★★☆ 1 vote

Comments:
Serves:
2 to 3 baguette-like loaves (about 8 to 10 servings)
Prep:
2 Hr
Cook:
25 Min
Method:
Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp
    grease (for baking sheet)
  • 1/8 cup
    cornmeal (for baking sheet)
  • FOR THE STARTER

  • 1/2 tsp
    instant-dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup
    cool water
  • 1/4 cup
    all-purpose flour
  • FOR THE BREAD DOUGH

  • 1 cup
    cool water
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    sugar (granulated, white)
  • 1 Tbsp
    lard (you can use shortening or even vegetable oil, but lard is traditional and imparts the best flavor)
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    instant dry yeast
  • ·
    starter (made the night before)
  • 3 1/2 cups
    all purpose flour (amount is approximate, could use up to 4 cups)
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED

  • 2 to 3
    strips of standard kitchen twine, about 12 inches in length (or metal skewers)

How to Make Cuban Bread

Step-by-Step

  1. FOR THE STARTER / THE NIGHT BEFORE:
    Combine starter ingredients in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a cool spot for about 12 hours.
  2. FOR THE BREAD:
    In the bowl of a large standing mixer fitted with dough hook, add water, salt, sugar, lard, yeast and the starter (using a spatula to scrape all of the starter into the mixer bowl).
  3. Add the 3.5 cups of flour, and mix the dough for 10 minutes on medium. The dough should come clean from the sides of the bowl. If it does not, add a bit more flour (about 2 Tbsp at a time) as needed. Let rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours.
  4. Punch the dough down (or turn the mixer on for 30 seconds). Remove the blade and let rise until doubled in volume, about an hour. Cover with cloth so it doesn't dry out.
  5. Divide dough into 2 even portions.
  6. Take one portion and pat it flat with your hand. It shouldn't stick if the dough is the right consistency. Next, fold it in half, lengthwise. Roll it into a long tube-like loaf, making sure both ends are rounded. Repeat with remaining dough to make an additional tube-like loaf.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a standard cooking sheet and dust lightly with the cornmeal; set baking sheet aside.
  8. Soak twine in cool water for a few minutes then squeeze out excess water. Slightly press the damp twine into the top of each loaf (it should be slightly imbedded but still visible and not fully buried into the dough). Flip the loaves over, on top of the twine, and let them rest about 20 minutes. (If you use metal skewers, slightly press the skewers into the top of the loaves, then flip them over). Let the loaves rest for about 20 minutes.
  9. Place both loaves on baking sheet, twine/skewer side up. Bake, with the twine/skewer left in the dough, for about 25 minutes for 2 loaves or until lightly browned on top and the loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped on the bottom. Let loaves stand 3 to 4 minutes, then carefully remove the twine (or skewer). This will give the loaves a distinct ridge that's a unique characteristic of traditional Cuban Bread. Then transfer loaves to rack to cool completely.

Printable Recipe Card

About Cuban Bread

Course/Dish: Savory Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Cuban
Dietary Needs: Low Fat Low Carb
Other Tag: Heirloom
Hashtag: #low cholesterol




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