Pan Cubano

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Total Time
3hrs
Prep
2 hrs 30 mins
Cook
30 mins

This is a recipe from Cocina Cubana/ Sonia Martinez/ Pascual Perez. I have not tried this recipe. I am adding it to 'zaar because there have to uses for sourdough starter besides traditional sourdough and Amish Friendship Bread. I doubt that I will ever use the lard, which is recommended for authentic flavor. My bread machine makes sourdough starter, so I am hoping to play with this recipe on the bread machine. If I can figure out a bread machine version, then I'll add that, too. Note: Preparation time does not include the development time to make the starter, which is at least 24 hours. Also, if you've never made starter, I recommend you research a little bit. It's not difficult but there are a couple rules for success.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. STARTER: The day before baking, dissolve the yeast in warm water in a nonreactive bowl. Add flour. You want a thick paste when you add the flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap (punch a couple air holes) and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  2. Leftover starter can be left in the refrigerator or frozen. (You will need to maintain starter if you are going to keep it; there are several zaar recipies that describe sourdough starter care.).
  3. DOUGH: Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large mixing bowl. When the mixture is foamy (5 to 10 minutes), mix in the lard/ shortening, remaining water and starter (remember, it's 1/2 cup of starter and not the entire volume that you made the day before).
  4. Mix well with your fingers or a wooden spoon. Stir in salt and flour, 1 cup at a time. You want to get a dough that is stiff enough to knead. You can also mix and knead in a mixer fitted with a dough hook or in a food processor fitted with the double blade (the processor hook will not handle this job easily).
  5. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary. The dough should be pliable and not sticky.
  6. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let warm, draft-free spot until it doubles its bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch down.
  7. To form the loaves, divide the dough in 4 pieces. Roll out each piece to form a 14-inch long tube, with rounded ends (sort of like a long meat loaf).
  8. Put 2 of the loaves per baking sheet, each loaf about 6 inches apart on the sheet. Cover with dampened cotton dish towel and let rise in warm, draft-free spot until double their bulk, about 1 hour. If you want it to rise at a slower pace, you can put it in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  10. Lay a piece of dampened thick string or twine (about 1/8" thick) all along the top of the loaf. Bake until the loaves are lightly browned on the top and sound hollow when lightly tapped, about 30 minutes.
  11. Remove loaves from oven and let cool slightly. Remove the strings. They will leave a distinct little ridge on top. Transfer loaves to a wire rack for cooling.