3/27/2011

Sunday Dinner

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Frijoles Negros
Saffron Rice
Cuban Bread


The last couple of Sunday Dinners have featured beef and chicken. It's time to round out the lineup with some pork, the other white meat that I love so dearly.  I made this meal for my father's birthday a few years ago and after the reviews came in, I knew I had to make it at least once every year.  

Any Cuban style dish is best accompanied by the unique style of bread native to the island and its many expatriate communities in Florida.  The shape and texture of Cuban bread helps it hold up to sauces and makes for a perfect sandwich platform.  The lard helps to create a crisp crust and tender interior that cements its unmistakeable identity.  I add a touch of brown sugar to provide a wisp of sweetness, creating a perfect balance with the savory pork and beans.  To get that trademark seam on the top of the loaf, I use soaked twine as I do not have access to the traditional palmetto leaves available to and used by bakers in Florida and Cuba.  I do wish I had access to those beaches right about now.   






Printable Recipe


Cuban Bread
makes 1 large loaf


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) lard
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup warm water
24-inch strip of pre-soaked kitchen twine
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water


In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, gluten, yeast, lard, sugar, salt and water until a soft dough forms.  Knead for 5-7 minutes or until smooth.  Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press to de-gas the dough.  Press and roll the dough into a long, flat baguette.  Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 400┬║ F.  Place the pre-soaked kitchen twine on top of the dough in a long figure 8 pattern and gently brush with the egg wash.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.  Carefully remove the twine from the top of the bread.  Transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!




4 comments:

  1. Looks delicious but it will have to wait -- the bananas are just about ready to make that delicious banana bread you posted the other day. Will try this one next week, just for the fun of the twine!

    ReplyDelete
  2. oooo... the pic is tempting... Love ur space. Pls accept an award from my blog. Sojo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Would you please share the pork recipe? It sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marcy-
    I will be sharing the pork recipe eventually. However, if it something you are wanting sooner than later, please e-mail. Best!

    ReplyDelete

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