Cuban Bread – About as simple as it gets!

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If you’re looking for a quick and easy white bread recipe, this Cuban Bread is about as easy as it gets. It contains five simple ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, water, plus a little sugar and can be made in a couple of hours from start-to-finish. Now that’s what I call simple! 

Ilva of Lucullian Delights chose this Revolutionary Cuban Bread for the Bread Baking Babes.  I almost missed out baking with the babes this month, but this recipe is so quick and easy, I was able to make it in the evening even after a busy day in the office.

The final proofing for this bread is done in the oven while the oven is warming up.  You place the loaves in a cold oven with a steam pan of hot water underneath.  This differs from a lot of artisan breads that require preheating the oven during the final proofing of the dough, and then placing the loaves in the warm oven with a steam pan underneath.  I was intrigued by this process and enjoyed watching the bread unfold. The bread literally opened up during the bake like a beautiful flower. 

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Cuban Bread Recipe

Makes: Two round loaves

From Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

Ingredients:

  • 700-840g (5-6 cups) of bread or all-purpose flour, I used all-purpose
  • 18g (2 packages or 1 1/2 T) dry yeast, I used instant
  • 15g (1 T) salt, I used Kosher salt
  • 25g (2 T) sugar, I used raw sugar
  • 450g (500 ml/ 2 cups) hot water
  • sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)

 

Directions:

1) Mix the dough by hand or mixer (15 mins)
Place 4 cups flour in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, salt and sugar. Stir until they are well blended. Pour in the hot water and beat with 100 strong strokes, or three minutes with a mixer flat beater. Gradually work in the remaining flour (using fingers if necessary), 1/2 cup at a time until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky. I used about 5 cups of flour total.

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2) Kneading the Dough (8 mins)
Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Work in the flour as you knead, keeping a dusting of it between the dough and the work surface.

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Knead for 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is smooth, elastic, and feels alive under your hands.

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3) Rising (15 mins)
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm (26-37°C/80-100°F) place until double in bulk, about 15 minutes.

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4) Shaping the Loaves (4 mins)
Punch down the dough, turn it out on the work surface, and cut into two pieces. 

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Shape each into a round. Place on the baking sheet. I used a parchment-lined baking sheet.

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With a sharp knife or razor, slash X on each of the loaves. I used my new lame.

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If desired, brush or spray with water, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

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5) Baking the Loaves (205°C/400°F; 45-50 mins)
Place the baking sheet on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a large pan of hot water on the shelf below, and heat the oven to 205°C/400°F. The bread of course, will continue to rise while the oven is heating. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown. Thump on the bottom crusts to test for doneness. If they sound hard and hollow, they are baked.

 

6) Cooling the loaves
Cool the loaves on a wire rack for about an hour before slicing if you can.

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7) Slicing and Eating the Loaves

Now it’s time to enjoy.  This bread is really good considering the time it takes to make it.  I enjoyed it with peanut butter and just plain with butter.  It’s also good just plain.

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This bread has been YeastSpotted. Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the weekly roundup.

 

Since this bread doesn’t contain any fat, it won’t keep very long so you’ll want to eat it right away or freeze it. This bread freezes really well so I froze one of the loaves to enjoy another day.

Happy Baking!

Cathy

11 comments:

  1. I called this my doubting adventure because I doubted it becoming real bread at every step. But it became good bread and quickly

    Your loaves are beautiful.
    Thanks a million for baking with us.

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  2. Beautiful!! I really like how the photo show off the flower shape.

    And I'm with you; it's really good with peanut butter. I'm so glad your bread turned out so well and that you were indeed able to bake with us.

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  3. Thanks Ladies! I enjoyed making this bread. It was a pleasure baking with the babes this month.

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  4. I can almost smell that aroma...

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  5. Great recipe. Being a Key West fan, I love Cuban bread. Add cheese, good Cuban roasted pork, grill and watch out, people will be beating you out of the way to get to it. :)

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  6. That sounds delicious Elwood! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Fantastic scores on these two beautiful boules. It was fun to join as a Bread Baking Buddy to bake this easy-peasy bread. I'll see you around, Cathy!

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  8. Thank you Gosia! It was fun baking with you as well. See you next time.

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  9. Gorgeous coloring on your loaf and it opened up so beautifully!

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  10. I made this bread today and my Husband and I loved it. It's our new go-to everyday bread!

    I missed that you're supposed to put it in the oven as it heats, so my loaves rose at room temperature, and the bread still came out great.

    Thanks for the recipe. :)

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  11. Hi Amber! I'm so glad you enjoyed this bread. It's definitely a keeper. Good to know it turned out well even rising at room temperature.

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