Recipe by Missy Wombat
Cara is a wonderful woman on my cyber-playgroup. She makes this a lot despite having 2 preschoolers. She got it from someone by the name of Father Dominic. Times are guesses.
Top Review by Lois O'Loughlin
This bread makes all the difference when making Cuban sandwiches! I mixed the dough in my bread machine and let it go through the first rise there and proceeded with the rest of the recipe. Delicious!
- 3 packages active dry yeast (eg Fleischmanns)
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- 5 -6 cups bread flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon salt
- cornmeal, for sprinkling on baking sheet
- 1 egg (or 1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash)
- 3⁄4 cup hot water
Directions See How It's Made
- Combine yeast, brown sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl; stir to mix.
- Stir in 2 cups of the flour; beat well.
- Let stand 10 minutes for yeast to develop.
- Stir in salt.
- Add remaining 3 to 4 cups flour, about 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until a stiff dough forms.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep dough manageable.
- Dough should be smooth, elastic and not sticky.
- Oil the surface of the dough and put it in the rinsed mixing bowl.
- Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place 45 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough.
- Knead lightly.
- Form into two long loaves.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet; place loaves on baking sheet.
- Let rise, uncovered, 10 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife or razor blade, make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf.
- Brush loaves with egg wash.
- Place on middle shelf of a cold oven.
- Place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf; pour hot water into pan.
- Set oven temperature at 400 degrees and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves are well browned and sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from baking sheet and let cool on wire racks.
- Note: For the best results, this recipe requires bread flour.
- All-purpose flour works, but it often produces a low loaf if it is not kneaded thoroughly.
- Notice the absence of oil or butter in the dough, which makes the bread crustier.
- This bread is so good you won't have to worry much about leftovers, but if you think you'll use only one loaf within a day, don't freeze the other-- just give it away!