I've always enjoyed cooking and baking but there's one thing I've been afraid to try- baking with yeast. I decided I should get over that fear with a new series on the blog, the Bread Chronicles. Recently, my mom shared with me her trusted book, The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon, and introduced me to one of her old standbys and the perfect introduction to bread-baking: Cuban bread. She's not one for unnecessary work, so she tended to stray from the directions saying, "Why knead by hand when you can let the Cuisinart do the work for you?" I'm not going to argue with that. This bread is absolutely fabulous. I made the dough in the evening, and popped it in the oven in the morning so I could have fresh-baked bread for breakfast. Recipe below.
Dough after rising
After punching it!
4 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups lukewarm water
6 cups flour (approximately)
Put 4 cups of flour in food processor (make sure you have the dough knife on).
In the meantime, put roughly 1.5 packs of yeast, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt in a bowl.
Measure 2 cups of lukewarm water. Slowly mix very little into yeast mixture and stir until combined. Gradually add the rest of the water and continue to stir until combined. Let sit for a few minutes. (The yeast mixture should be bubbling and active.)
Pour yeast mixture into food processor. Add more flour slowly (about 1-2 cups) until dough turns into a ball. Use the pulse setting a few times to allow the food processor to knead the dough for you. Flour hands, then place ball on a wooden floured surface. Knead into a ball. (Pull up the top of the ball with your fingers to make it smooth and lump-free.) Place ball in oiled bowl (you can use non-stick cooking spray or olive oil), then turn ball so both sides are coated. Cover bowl with towel and let sit in warm place and rise. If you want to bake the dough in the morning, place bowl in fridge (this will stop the rising process). When the dough has about doubled in size, punch down the ball a few times. It shouldn't pop back up. Knead slightly and cut in half. Form two balls. Place on cornmeal-lined tray and let rise again. Put in oven at 400 F for about 30-40 minutes.