Initially when I listed ‘Cuban Tostada‘ as one of the breakfast entries, I wanted to use store bought Cuban bread to make the sandwich and call it a day. But when I started reading about Cuban bread, I realized that store bought Cuban bread might me made with lard (aka pig fat), so I decided to make the bake the bread at home.
I found this recipe on King Arthur flour and followed it to the ‘T’ except for substituting some of the all purpose flour with wholewheat flour. These rolls are perfect to make sandwiches and of course Cuban tostadas.
Combine all the ingredients for the bread in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix and knead until a smooth, supple dough forms; about 6~8 minutes by hand or 5~8 minutes on the stand mixer.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let rise for 1 hour or until the dough is puffy but not necessarily doubled in volume.
Gently fold the dough upon itself and turn it upside down after 30 minutes; this turn helps in eliminating some of the carbon dioxide and redistributing the yeasts's food, both important for optimum yeast growth.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and shape each one into a log. Cover and let the logs rest for 15 minutes. Then shape each piece into a 8" long log that is tapered on both sides (this shape has a fancy name, batard -- say that with a French accent 🙂
Place the loaves on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush or spray the loaves with water and using a sharp knife slash a long slit lengthwise down the middle of each loaf.
Bake the bread for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove onto a cooling rack.