Cuban Medianoche Bread

I am slightly obsessed with the smell of blooming yeast and baking bread! These rolls are just wonderfully soft and eggy, with a golden crisped exterior and perfectly tender interior.

I made a batch of these rolls to enjoy with Cuban sandwiches recently and they are the perfect accompaniment! We taste tested one with some butter and homemade raspberry jam - I highly recommend that combination too!

Definitely give these a try if you're looking for the perfect Cuban Sandwich bread, or just want to have a batch of lovely, soft, tender, light rolls to accompany a meal, use as a sandwich roll, or just want to smell some gorgeous bread baking! They are a wonderful and versatile roll. You can adjust the size for whatever you will be using them for. I made mine pretty large (I should have made them smaller) - but we just cut the sandwiches in half and that worked too!

Cuban Medianoche Bread

2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) of dry active yeast
3/4 cup white sugar divided
1 cup warm water, warm to touch but not hot
1/2 cup lard melted (I used Crisco shortening)
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp salt
6 cups bread flour, more or less

Egg wash
1 egg with 2 TBS water, whisked together until foamy

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water. Stir together and allow to rest about 10 minutes, until frothy and activated.
  2. Add the dough hook, and add in the melted lard (or shortening), eggs, salt, and start with 4 cups of the flour. On medium speed blend until dough begins to form, and add enough additional flour until dough ball forms. Knead on medium speed another couple minutes.
  3. Scrape out the dough, add a little oil to the bowl, return dough ball to bowl and flip so both sides are coated in oil. Cover in a tea towel and set in a warm place until it doubles in size (about an hour).
  4. Punch down the dough and divide into about 10 rolls (size depending on what you'd like to use it for). Set them on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets and cover again with a tea towel, and set aside until risen (about 45-60 more minutes).
  5. Cut a shallow seam down the tops along the middle lengthwise, leaving some space on each end (at least an inch). Prep the egg wash and generously brush the tops and sides of the rolls. 
  6. When ready to bake (press dough gently and the dough should bounce back quickly), preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake until beautifully golden and baked all the way through (20 - 35 minutes, depending on the size of your rolls).
  8. Move to a cooling rack and brush with melted butter while still warm (if desired).
  9. Enjoy!
Recipe from Hostess At Heart


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