I had never even heard of Cuban bread until I was trolling the Three Guys from Miami website looking for a roasted pork sandwich recipe. After stumbling across this recipe, I decided to give it a try. I enjoy making my own bread, and homemade bread always makes sandwiches better. It turned out to be a more time consuming process than I expected, but as soon as I tasted this bread, I was sold. It is A-MAZING!
This recipe takes some time, largely due to the double rise, but it’s well worth the effort required. The results are incredible! I would describe Cuban bread as a buttery French or Italian bread. The crust gets a nice, slight crisp while the inside stays soft with the perfect chew. I had to stop myself from eating the whole loaf the first time I made this bread (I had made it for sandwiches, after all, not to wolf it down in one sitting). This bread is great for sandwiches or soups… or just eating by itself…
Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours (including 2 hours of rise time)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1/2 tbsp. Yeast
1 tsp. Sugar
5/8 c. Warm Water, divided
1 c. Bread Flour
1 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. Butter, melted
1. Start by proofing your yeast. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4 c. water and let sit 10 minutes until foamy.
2. Using dough hooks, mix the yeast mixture, remaining water (3/8 c.), and salt on low speed until well mixed.
3. Sift together your flours. Add the flour and butter alternatively. Use only enough flour that the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on low 3-4 minutes adding a little extra flour if the the dough becomes too wet.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm oven (160°) for an hour.
5. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll out to a rectangular shape ~10″ x 12″
Roll tightly into a long cylinder, rolling from the narrower side. Wet the seam and pinch to seal.
6. Place the loaf on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Dust the top with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise on the counter an additional hour. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 450° F.
Tip: Don’t put the loaf into a warm oven for the second rise. It seems to make the bread spread horizontally more than vertically. Also, I like to use shot glasses to keep the plastic wrap above the loaf. If the plastic wrap is too tight over the bread, it can inhibit the vertical rise.
7. With about 15 minutes left in the second rise, cut a shallow seam down the middle of the loaf using a very sharp night. Leave about an inch of loaf uncut on each end.
8. Place a shallow pan of water in your preheated oven.
9. Brush the surface of the loaf with water and bake 5 minutes at 450° F. This, along with the humidity from the water bath, helps crisp the crust.
10. After five minutes, remove the loaf from the oven and brush with water again. Be careful opening the oven door to avoid a steam burn! Return to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes until the crust is golden.
Allow the bread to cool for at least 10 minutes before you slice it (or else it will squish more than it will cut). Pair it with soup or use it to make sandwiches. This will probably be your new favorite bread recipe!