Recipe by Nana Lee
Published in the Miami Herald Prep time icludes rising times. "This recipe is from the father of schools superintendent Roger Cuevas, retired baker Roberto Cuevas It was reduced and modified for home kitchens by Bob Menditto, culinary arts teacher at Lindsey Hopkins Technical Center. Cuevas also uses a commercial dough conditioner that keeps the bread soft longer, but home bakers can skip this."
- 1 (1/4 ounce) envelope dry active yeast
- 3 cups water
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons solid shortening
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 300º F.
- Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of water.
- Mix in a second cup of water, the salt, flour and shortening.
- Add enough of the third cup of water to make a pliable dough.
- Knead dough and form into a ball.
- Set aside in a warm place, covered with a damp towel, for about 1 hour.
- Punch down.
- Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes.
- Punch down again.
- Roll the dough lightly into an oblong shape, about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long.
- Set aside again, with crease up, until it doubles in size, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Brush lightly with water to produce a nice, hard crust.
- To create a baker's signature crease along top of the bread, place a strand of thick butcher's string down the middle before baking.
- The weight of the string will press a ridge into the top of the loaf.
- Remove string after baking. (In Cuba, Cuevas and other bakers used a palm frond.)
- Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 45 minutes.