Cuban Bread (or Bread Rolls)

2 packages of dry yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup warm water
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal

Combine warm water, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand a few minutes until yeast begins to foam. Stir in flour to make a stiff dough. Knead dough well, until it is completely smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary.

Place dough in bowl sprinkled with flour. Dust top of dough with flour. Cover bowl with a dish towel. Let rise in a draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

Punch down dough. Divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape by stretching and rolling each piece of dough into a long sausage about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place loaves on ungreased baking sheet which has been sprinkled with cornmeal.

Slash each loaf diagonally across top 3 or 4 times. Brush with water.

Place on lowest rack in a cold oven. Turn oven on and set to 350 degrees. Bread will rise in oven. Bake 1 hour or until bread is a deep golden brown.

Makes about 2 medium size loaves.

Note: To make rolls, roll pieces of dough into long snake like logs after dough has risen once. Bring ends together and twist. Tuck ends under. Allow to rise again until doubled. Bake on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden on top.


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