BBB - Cuban Bread (for when you don't plan ahead)

I must admit, all too often we go without bread because I forget to start it in time to be ready for dinner.   Sometimes I have to scramble for non-sandwich lunch ideas for the school kiddo because I have run out of sandwich bread.  No longer.  I wasn't expecting all that much out of this bread, but it is going to become my procrastination savior, I can tell.  I've already made it twice.  Here's the second loaf.  It's already gone too.

And I even forgot to set the timer on the second loaf and it did a complete rise and peak.  It still worked great for the cold oven method.  I'm starting number three now.  (And I am using part light spelt flour on these.)

This bread makes awesome french toast.  I grew up with true eggy bread: soaked well - we don't hold with two second dipped dry toast.  Yuck.  Some breads will try to fall apart on you with really eggy bread.  Not so with this one.  It has a nice firm, chewy crumb and holds up fabulously to soaking and squishing to get all the egg batter inside it.  Mmmmmmm.

I still love making long method, artisan breads, but this will be my go to "in-a-pinch" loaf from now on.  Give it a try and check out the original post at Lucullian delights.

from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

1.2-1.4 litre/ 5-6 cups of bread or AP flour
2 packages dry yeast, I used 50 g fresh
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
500 ml/ 2 cups hot water
sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

by hand or mixer (15 min)
Place 4 cups flour in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, salt and sugar. Stir until they are well blended. Pour in the hot water and beat with 100 strong strokes, or three minutes with a mixer flat beater.
Gradually work in the remaining flour (using fingers if necessary), 1/2 cup at a time until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky.

kneading (8 min)
Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Work in the flour as you knead, keeping a dusting of it between the dough and the work surface. Knead for 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is smooth, elastic, and feels alive under your hands.

by processor (5 min)
Attach the short plastic blade.
Place 2 cups flour in the work bowl and add the other ingredients, as above. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix. Remove the cover and add 2 more cups of flour. Replace the cover and pulse to blend.
Add the remaining flour through the feed tube, pulsing after each addition, until the dough begins to form and is carried around the bowl by the force of the blade.

kneading (45 sec)
Turn on the machine to knead for 45 seconds.

rising (15 mins)
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm (26-37°C/80-100°F) place until double in bulk, about 15 minutes.

shaping (4 min)
Punch down the dough, turn it out on the work surface, and cut into two pieces. Shape each into a round. Place on the baking sheet. With a sharp knife or razor, slash X on each of the loaves, brush water, and, if desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Baking (205°C/400°F; 45-50 min)
Place the baking sheet on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a large pan of hot water on the shelf below, and heat the oven to 205°C/400°F. The bread of course, will continue to rise while the oven is heating. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown. Thump on the bottom crusts to test for doneness. If they sound hard and hollow, they are baked.

This post will go up for Yeastspotting!


  1. You didn't expect much ... really, I can't imagine why ;-)
    I called this one my doubting adventure because I doubted it at every step. Who would have thought you could get decent bread in less than 3 hours. Like you, I'll still go for all the artisan breads but this is fabulous "in a pinch".
    Thanks for baking with us!

  2. Wow, look at those beautiful slashes! Gorgeous bread (as usual from your kitchen).

  3. Oh how gorgeous this bread turned out in your oven. I can't believe how skeptical we all were and how this little bread has converted us from doubters into believers.

  4. Procrastination savior! Like that!
    Lovely loaf you got!. Really it's so funny this one turned us around from no way to waaaayyy!

  5. This really is a great bread for being so quick. I love the wonderful crust you achieved Kelly!


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