Cara's Cuban Bread

Recipe by Missy Wombat
READY IN: 2hrs 10mins
YIELD: 2 loaves
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • 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!
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