Cuban Bread (Pan Cubano)
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- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- Vegetable oil (for greasing)
- Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup of the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar,
and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining 1 cup water, the olive oil and salt.
Slowly add the flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix to make a dough. Turn the dough out
onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 4 minutes, or until the
dough is satiny and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic
wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about
1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and shape it into a 12-inch long oblong loaf. Place the
loaf on a lightly greased baking sheet (or one dusted with cornmeal), cover it with
a towel, and allow it to rise for 30 minutes.
- Brush loaf lightly with warm water.
- Bake it on the baking sheet in a preheated
400 degree F oven until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when the bottom is
tapped, about 35 minutes.
- Remove the bread and cool it on a wire rack before serving.
Makes 1 large loaf.
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