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Prep2 hrs 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.
- 3⁄4 teaspoon yeast (1/3 envelope)
- 1⁄3 cup warm water
- 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour or 1⁄3 cup bread flour
- 4 1⁄2 teaspoons yeast (2 envelopes or 2 cakes of compressed yeast)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups warm water
- 3 -4 tablespoons lard or 3 -4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sourdough starter
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 -5 cups bread flour
- 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.
- 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.).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let warm, draft-free spot until it doubles its bulk, about 45 minutes. Punch down.
- 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).
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- 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.
- 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.