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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cuban Bread, perfect from your 1st loaf!


I love to cook, but bread is not my thing.  I am often unhappy with the results and aggravated about the amount of time I spent making something that I don't want to eat.  I have tried a few recipes--one that even guaranteed me bread-making rock-star status, which sounded awesome, and did not deliver.  It even had a photo tutorial and was a time consuming flop for me.  I was not impressed and would have rather have spent my time sewing.  However, I have now found a Charlie-proof recipe that actually is amazing in how easy, fast (for bread) and tasty it is!

Cuban Bread!!!

It has a hard outer crust, like a good crusty French bread and is kind of chewy like Sourdough.  So, if you like those sorts of bread (like me), you will love it.  It makes wonderful Cuban Sandwiches, bread bowls, toastini, croutons & rolls!

I used a Kitchen Aid mixer, but you can do it by hand.

Ingredients:
5-6 c. of Bread or All Purpose Flour (divided) --you can substitute in 2 c. Whole Wheat Flour, as well.
2 T. Dry Instant Yeast (approx 2 packages)
1 T. Salt
2 T. Sugar
2 c. Hot Water (120-130 degrees)

DO NOT PRE-HEAT YOUR OVEN.  You will need 1 baking sheet, large cookie sheet, or metal pizza pan and a large tray to hold water underneath it.  You can spray the sheet or line it in parchment paper.

1. Place 4c. flour, yeast, salt, & sugar in you mixing bowl and blend.  Pour in the hot water.  Mix for 3 minutes with your dough hook or 100 long strokes by hand.
2. If you are using a mixer, work in the remaining flour 1/2c. at a time until the dough is no longer sticky and is one big ball. Continue kneading with the dough hook for 8 minutes.
or
If you are doing it by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and work in the flour as you knead.  Keep a layer of flour between the dough and work surface.  Knead for approx. 8-9 minutes.
3. Place it back in the mixing bowl and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap, place in a warm place to rise (80-100 degrees) for 15 minutes. I sit mine on a heating pad on in a tray of hot water.
4. Punch it down and cut it in half.  You can shape the loaves in round rolls or rounded rectangles.  It is pretty versatile.  I have even made it into 8 round rolls.  Cut x's in the round rolls and slashes on the rectangles.
5. Place it on your baking sheet and in an unheated oven on the middle rack with a tray of hot water on the rack below.  Close the oven and turn it on 400 degrees.  If you have made it into 2 loaves/rolls it will take approx. 50 minutes to cook.  Less time for smaller loaves/rolls.  It will turn a rich golden brown color and sound a little hollow when you knock it.  Eat with soup or as sandwich bread it while it's fresh for 1-2 days and then tun it into toastini or croutons.  Enjoy!

**This recipe is adapted from Benard Clayton's, "New Complete Book of Breads."  If you love bread making you should check it out.  His Banana Bread is pretty amazing too!



22 comments:

  1. I hope to try this! I love trying all sorts of recipes and this one looks tasty :) Found you through Frugal Crafty Home Monday Blog Hop

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I hope you do, it's easy and worth it! :o) Have a wonderful week!

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  2. oh my goodness, yes!!!! Bread , you had me at bread. Hopping over from the Frugal crafty hop.♥

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    1. Thanks Katherine! Give it a go with some wonderful soup. So nice! :o) Have a beautiful week Sunshine!

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  3. I grew up in Miami and on all food Cuban. It's harder to find now that I live in Alabama. I'm going to have to give this a try.

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    1. There is a Cuban restaurant that we love in Atlanta called Papi's. It's one of our favorites, but you don't find much Cuban food around here. My grandparents were missionaries in Honduras right before the civil war went full force in the late 60s. So, while I grew up on Southern favorites, I also love Latin food. Especially maduros with sour cream. We had to travel to Florida when I was kid to buy plantains. :o) I hope that the Cuban Bread gives you a taste of home!

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  4. This looks delish! Can't wait to try it with the Cuban sandwiches I make. Stopping by from the Show and Tell hop.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! You'll love how easy it is!

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  5. I love all things bread! Sounds yummy!

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  6. I love the Cuban Bread and the black beans. My heritage is part Spanish from my mom.... I go to eat
    Cuban food in Miami every year when I go visit my daughter! she lives there! I love it ! Thanks for the Recipe, will try it
    Maria

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    1. Me too, Maria! I would have had maduros too, but all I could find was really green plantains. The recipe is amazingly easy. I bet your daughter would love it too! I hope you enjoy it!

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  7. Not sure if you got my last comment, but don't think it went through! Just wanted to say that I go eat cuban food in Miami where mt daughter lives, Its really great food and so much flavor, Black beans Love it I'm going to try your recipe..

    Maria

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    1. It did! Thanks again though Maria! Btw, I love your blog!

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  8. OOH I think I need to give this a try! My Family Mealtime

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  9. that just looks delish charlie!

    hey thanks for sharing this over at The DIY'ers! huggies♥
    rea

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  10. Can't wait to get home from work today cause I'm making this--

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  11. Thank you for sharing your recipes at Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up. :) This bread look delicious! I hope you stop by and join us again this week. http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up-4.html

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    1. Thank you April! And thank you for hosting!

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