Cuban bread rolls (Pan Cubano)

Making Cuban sandwiches? First you're going to need to find some lard. Then you'll need to make these soft, semi-crusty rolls that eventually you'll smash between two hot surfaces. Oh, and you'll need some pork, ham (also pork), mustard, Swiss cheese and pickles!

Ingredients:

  • 360 grams bread flour (3 cups)
  • 30 grams lard (2 tablespoons)
  • 13 grams granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 10 grams instant or active dry yeast (1 tablespoon)
  • 9 grams table salt (2 teaspoons)
  • 227 grams lukewarm water (1 cup)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer. Using your dough hook, mix on medium speed for 8 minutes or until the dough is pulling away from the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead with your hands until you have a nice smooth dough - one or two minutes. Shape it into a ball and place in a lightly greased/oiled bowl in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours. 

After the dough has almost doubled in size, turn it onto a lightly floured or oiled surface. Divide into three equal pieces (use a scale if you want perfect sizes). 

Press each dough piece with your fingers until you have a rectangle of about the length that you want (in this case around 12 inches) and about 3 inches wide. Roll the flattened rectangle up from long side to the other long side until you have a log that is about 12  or 13 inches long and 1.5 to 2 inches around. When you're done rolling, you need to focus on sealing the seam. Pinch it closed very well from one end of the seam to the other. This is important and helps the top of your dough log to stay tight. 

After you seal the seam, roll the log again and taper each end a little. 

Do this for each of your 3 dough portions and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place each dough log pinched seam side down. 

Flatten each dough log with your fingers slightly so that it doesn't rise into quite a round cylinder. This will help the roll to be shaped better for sandwiches. 

Cover your sheet pan with a lightly oiled/greased plastic wrap and place in a warm area for 1 hour. 

Pre-heat oven to 375F (190 C). 

Spray all three of your bread loaves with a liberal spray of water and score each one with a sharp knife from one tip of each loaf to the other, right down the middle.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes rotating the pan 180 degrees at the halfway point. (Note: this time is for non-convection ovens. If you use the convection setting it will cut as much as 8 minutes off the bake time.) Just take a peek at it when you turn the bread at the halfway point and if it's already fairly tan, you might want to keep an eye on it. Your rolls need an internal temp of 190 F (88 C) to be fully cooked. 

Allow bread to cool before slicing. 

Have you made this recipe? Tag @beerinator and let him know!


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