Cuban-Style Bread

Total Time:
3 hr 5 min
5 min
3 hr

3 to 4 loaves

  • 1 pint ice water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ounce shortening (lard or vegetable)
  • 1 ounce (4 packets) dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 pounds flour, plus more if necessary
  • Oil, for coating
  • Palmetto leaves, for creating a seam (unbleached or colored shoe strings can be used)
  • In a mixing machine fitted with a dough hook, add the water, salt, sugar, shortening, and yeast. Add the flour slowly, making a stiff dough that is silky smooth.

  • Turn dough out into a large oiled bowl, cover with a cloth. Place dough in a warm place, and allow to double in bulk.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pound and knead the dough, until it is silky smooth. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let rise again, until doubled in bulk.

  • Meanwhile, sterilize the palmetto leaves or shoe strings by soaking them in boiling water.

  • Portion dough into 10-ounce loaves. As a loaf is formed, immediately place a palmetto leaf or shoestring down the length of the loaf, and turn the loaf over onto a baking sheet, leaf/string side down. Repeat with the remaining loaves.

  • Let the dough rise, leaf side down, for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Bake loaves until they are golden brown, about 30 minutes.

  • This recipe was provided by professional chefs, and therefore may be difficult to reproduce in the home.

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