Jim's Crusty Cuban Bread
I've been very happy with the bread produced from this recipe. We've also found that we really like the fresh bread better than we do what we buy at the store. Both Deb and I both believe it keeps better and tastes better too. Since this is such a simple recipe, you will want to try it especially in the winter when it helps warm the boat on those cold days.
1 tsp yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (between 105 and 115 degrees - use your instant read themometer)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 3/4 cup to 3 cups of unbleached flour + some extra depending on humidity
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add the salt and sugar. Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes and you should see it starting to grow. Place the flour into a large mixing pan and begin adding the water/yeast mixture. You may use it all or you may not have to. Stir in enough flour to make a nice stiff dough. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl that you cover with a towel so it doesn't touch the dough. Set it in a warm place until it has doubled. This will take a couple of hours but I've also made bread after it only doubles about 2/3rds too if in a hurry. Kneed the dough for several minutes mixing everything very well and then place the dough on an air pan or cookie sheet that has a good coating of corn meal or if you don't have corn meal, I use a light dusting of flour. Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes again covered. Boil a pan of water and place it in the bottom of your oven. Brush the loave lightly with water and place in a cold oven. Set oven for 400 degrees (between 5 and 6 on the Gemini) and bake until done which is about 40 minutes. On the small oven of the Gemini, I rotate the bread at 22 minutes so the direct heat from the flame in the back cooks everything more uniform.
This recipe will also work with bleached flour and of course you can make it in a bread pan without the boiling water so you don't make crusty bread. It just happens that crusty bread is Deb's favorite bread. Also, I'm working on a modification to add some more seasonings such as rosmary, basil and all those other great seasonings which will be wonderful dipping in olive oil.
One of Deb's
favorite things to do is to have me cut a few pieces of bread as soon as it
come out of the oven, apply butter and honey and then just smile.
Web Page by Jim Faughn