It’s hard to go wrong with homemade bread, especially if someone else is willing to make it for you! This is Cuban Bread, an easy cousin to French Bread. Linda provides the recipe following the photo.
5 to 6 cups of bread or all-purpose flour
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)
I used my kitchen-aid mixer to mix and knead the dough. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing it or with corn meal or parchment paper. I liked the texture of the corn meal.
Place 4 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl add yeast, salt, and sugar. Stir until blended. Pour in hot water and beat for 3 minutes with the mixer flat beater.
Gradually work in the remaining flour 1/2 C at a time. I used a scant 5 cups. Mix until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky. Knead using the mixer for 45 seconds (or 8 minutes by hand).
Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
Punch down the dough, turn it out on the work surface, and cut into 2 pieces. Shape each into a round. Place on the baking sheet. With a sharp knife, slash an X on each of the loaves, brush with water, and if desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake at 400 degrees (350 degrees in convection oven) for 45-50 minutes. 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 400 degrees. The bread will continue to rise while the oven is heating. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are deep golden brown. Thump on the bottom crusts to test for doneness. If they sound hard and hollow, they are baked.
Note: Since the bread does not have shortening, it will not keep beyond a day or so. Even though it may begin to stale, it makes excellent toast for many days and freezes well.