Homemade Cuban Bread
Cuban bread is easy to make as French or Italian bread, difference being in the way it is cooked. When I worked in a Cuban restaurant, the owner would make his way every morning to a Cuban bakery to buy our bread for making sandwiches and for a side to many of his wonderful Cuban dishes. Every morning before we opened, we would have a fresh piece of bread to go along with a cup of Cuban espresso, getting us in gear for the lunch crowd. I still make Cuban sandwiches to this day and when husband sees this post, I’ll be getting hounded for those tasty sandwiches that we love so much! If you’re lucky enough to live where there are palmetto leaves, you can place one that has been washed well and moistened, on top of the bread just before the second rising, to make the indentation, just discard the leaf before eating the bread.
- 1 pkg dry yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups very warm water
- 5-1/2 to 6 cups flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast, salt and sugar in the warm water.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly add 2 cups of the flour and beat until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.
- Increase speed to high and continue to mix for three minutes.
- With a spoon, add as much of the remaining flour as possible.
- Turn dough onto a slightly floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes or until dough is slightly elastic.
- Place dough in a large greased bowl, flip and cover with a damp cloth; place in a warm area to let rise until double in size.
- Lightly grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal, shaking off excess.
- Punch dough down, and place on a floured surface; divide dough into three small, narrow loaves.
- Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise for another 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Brush tops with COLD water and place in a COLD oven (do not PREHEAT oven).
- Turn oven to 400 degrees and bake until bread is nicely browned, about 40 minutes. Brush loaves with COLD water 2 more times during the last 20 minutes of the baking time.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
This bread will freeze well for more Cuban sandwiches later………..enjoy!