Quick Cuban Bread (Pan Cubano)

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Cuban Bread (Pan Cubano)

Michael and the boys went to the park yesterday afternoon to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, giving me some time while the baby slept to take care of a few household chores such as laundry and cleaning up the kitchen. In case you didn’t know, the life of a stay-at-home mom can be oh-so glamorous.

One of my favorite articles on Yogajournal.com is about the impermanence of life. In “After the Laundry, the Laundry,” author Judith Lasater writes about how we do the dishes and then later we come back and there are more dishes to wash. We wash, fold, and put away laundry, and later there is more laundry to do. The basket doesn’t stay empty and the kitchen, bathrooms, and floors do not stay clean. I could continue to clean and clean and clean, and the work would never be done because it’s part of the cycle of life. The cycle continuously repeats, and at times it can feel quite daunting. So what do I do when I feel overwhelmed by the daily drudge of housework? I either do asanas or I bake bread, or both.

Yesterday’s baking therapy was a quick Cuban bread from Memories of a Cuban Kitchen. I dubbed it “quick” because this one is made in just a few hours without a starter. It’s a departure from traditional Cuban bread recipes which have oil, lard, or shortening in them. The crust is crispy and the interior is chewy, but still soft, and it makes a good sandwich or toasting bread.

The recipe makes two medium loaves, but the bread doesn’t keep for more than a day or two, so plan to use it soon after you bake it.

Equipment

stand mixer with dough hook
large bowl for rising the dough, lightly coated with cooking spray
half sheet baking pan

Ingredients

2 teaspoons instant yeast, or 1 package active dry yeast (see Variations)
6 to 7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur brand.)
1-1/4 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups warm water, not boiling hot
cooking spray
coarse corn meal
casserole pan
4 to 5 cups boiling water

Preparation

1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, stir together the yeast, 3 cups of flour, salt, and sugar. Add the warm water and mix on low speed until the flour mixture is completely wet.

2. Continue adding flour 1 cup at a time and mixing until the dough is very stiff, but not dry.

3. Shape the dough into a ball and put into the prepared large bowl. Lightly spray the top of the dough with cooking spray and cover with a towel. Put in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

4. Remove from oven and turn the dough out onto a floured board. Divide into two pieces and shape into two long, French-style loaves or round, Italian-style loaves.

5. Spread coarse meal over the baking pan and place the loaves on the pan. Cover with a towel and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

6. Slash the tops of the loaves in 2 or 3 places and spritz some water over the tops of them. Place in a cold oven and put a casserole pan filled with boiling water in the bottom. Turn on the oven and set for 400° F. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

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Source: adapted from Memories of a Cuban Kitchen (attributed to James Beard)

[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]

[Disclosure: This blog earns a few cents on items purchased through the Amazon.com links in posts.]

Comments

  1. says

    I love what you posted about the “cycle” – sometimes I feel really overwhelmed by these daily drudgeries – this post has put my feelings in perspective, and it’s not just me who suffers from it! My solution would be to eat some cake.

  2. says

    Hi Andrea, thanks for your comment on the coffee beans. Colombian coffee is so famous. And I love the aroma of coffee, waking up with it is the best thing… my hubby fix it for me every morning.

  3. Andy says

    I will admit that I did not try your recipe. I will say that growing up in Miami and eating Cuban bread on a daily basis, I see one flaw in your recipe. I know that everyone is health kick for good reason, that being said, Cuban bread Must be made with Lard! Lard gives it’s texture and taste. Also, there is a starter yeast mix that is used which is made the day before it is made. This also gives it a unique taste. Good luck to you, and God Bless.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Savory recipes I’ve bookmarked this month are Perfect Bangers and Mash from Book The Cook, Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Turkey Picadillo, Southwestern Corn Chowder and Gnocchi from the Columbus Dispatch, Ricotta Dumplings with Orecchiette, Peas and Proscuitto from Vicious Ange, Greek Seasoned Chicken with Orzo from The Cookbook Junkie, Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls from The Culinary Chase, Tatyana’s Polish Bigos from Apartment Therapy, Persian Rice from A Good American Wife, Quick Cuban Bread from Andrea’s Recipes, Dad’s Baked Beans from Confections of a Foodie Bride, Gnocchi Sardi with Asparagus and Saffron from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, Pancake Soup from Delicious: Days, Italian-American Gravy from Food “Blogga”, Cheddar and Sun-Dried Tomato Muffins from French Kitchen in America, Baked Shell Pasta with Zucchini, Onion, Salami and Fontina from Kitchen Unplugged, Spring Pea Soup with Chive Oil and Peppered Creme Fraiche from Leite’s Culinaria, Soft Pretzels from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong, Gourmet BLTs with Green Garlic Aioli from Love and Olive Oil, Catalina Taco Salad from ramblings from a gypsy soul, Yakitori Chicken Meat Balls from Rasa Malaysia, Lardon and Spring Pea Quiffle from sourdough monkey wrangler, Spring Salad with Fried Duck Egg and Caramelized Ramps from Restaurant Widow, Turkey Burger Stuffed with Crispy Bacon and Caraway Havarti from What We’re Eating, Risotto with Bolognese Meat Sauce from What Did You Eat?, Springtime Panzanella from Well Fed, and Wild Garlic Risotto from thepassionatecook. […]

  2. […] Andrea Meyers tells us that my recipe is a “quick” Cuban bread, (as oppoesed to the more traditional method using a starter) and makes a very similar recipe ifrom Memories of a  Cuban Kitchen. […]

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