HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What have you made lately? Get great advice
TELL US

Bread for Cuban Sandwich

b
Bobfrmia Sep 20, 2006 03:17 AM

I'm getting things together for my attempt at true cubanos. Got the pork, but I'm having a problem with the bread. I know they say french if you can't find cuban, but I've also read that it is a major change. I read that cuban bread is sweet. Would I be better off using Kings Hawaiian sweet bread? I'm just damn set on doing this right.

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. amkirkland Sep 20, 2006 03:27 AM

    I've never had a cuban sandwich with bread that sweet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amkirkland
      Bad Sneakers Sep 22, 2006 11:32 PM

      The OP may be thinking of a medianoche, which uses a lighter, slightly sweet bread.

    2. e
      EclecticEater Sep 20, 2006 02:29 PM

      I'd say a good baguette will do it or a french roll like a baguette. The crispness of the crust should make it taste good. I've had cuban sandwiches with soft spongy bread, just in fact had one at the Orlando airport in a cuban chain, are OK but not authentic like the ones I remember. Ham, cheese, pickles, mustard, mmm.

      1. b
        butterfly Sep 20, 2006 03:23 PM

        I've never run across any other type of bread that is similar to Cuban... Cuban bread is made with lard (or sometimes vegetable shortening). It's about three feet long and is baked with a palm frond on the top to ensure that the crust breaks straight down the middle. It's soft and flat and gets very crunchy when pressed or toasted. Without cuban bread, you'll just have to accept a different sandwich. I'd say go for something soft and flat, so that you can, at least approximate the shape of the sandwich.

        1. monkeyrotica Sep 20, 2006 03:35 PM

          I was in a similar predicament. DON'T go with a hard baguette or it will become inedible after toasting. I found a prepackaged soft Italian long roll, kinda flat (brand escapes me) and it toasted just fine. Didn't have the chewiness or brioche-ness of Cuban bread, but it wasn't a mouth shredder either. The key is to find a bread that's still soft and pliable, brush a cast iron skillet or grill with vegetable oil, and grill over low heat. If you can find a heavy lid that's smaller than the skillet that you can use to press the sandwiches, so much the better. Or get a brick and cover wtih aluminum foil. Good luck.

          1 Reply
          1. re: monkeyrotica
            e
            ESNY Sep 20, 2006 03:46 PM

            You need a soft bread. The best product that can approximate cuban bread is some sort of soft hero bread.

          2. n
            northernlite Sep 20, 2006 03:38 PM

            it's like a baguette but proofed like triple the time it comes out dry and stale almost. there are recipes online, b ut to buy it couldn't tell ya.
            try looking for "pan"

            2 Replies
            1. re: northernlite
              b
              butterfly Sep 20, 2006 03:57 PM

              I've never had cuban bread that came out dry or stale. It's very, very soft--from the lard.

              1. re: butterfly
                s
                Steve Sep 22, 2006 06:34 PM

                Not the kind they have in Miami. Most of the lunch counters there serve something akin to baked styrofoam.

            2. amkirkland Sep 20, 2006 04:38 PM

              a similar tasting, but not shaped, bread is the Mexican bolillo. This is the bread they make they're tortas from. It's not qyite as light, but it does have the lardiness to it.

              1. sandrina Sep 20, 2006 06:04 PM

                I don't know if you're in the New York City area, but many local bodegas carry the Cuban style bread. Just ask how fresh it is.

                1. toodie jane Sep 22, 2006 05:27 PM

                  ....just had a Portuguese sando made with their sweet bread--rather eggy and soft, very slightly sweet. (King's is not real Portuguese sweet bread.) It was great! don't dismiss it out of hand, but try to get the real thing if you want to experiment.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: toodie jane
                    b
                    butterfly Sep 22, 2006 11:01 PM

                    sounds like medianoche bread--a different thing, but good in its own special way.

                  2. e
                    emilief Sep 22, 2006 09:28 PM

                    I made Cuban sandwiches this week from a recipe in the NY Times - on a baguette. It was french baguette, 1/2d, slathered with aoli, then layered with proscuitto, grated aged gouda, roast pork shoulder, pickled jalepenos. I put them in a hot pan with olive oil and a hot pan on top with a weight. They were a terrific texture, that is all I can say.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: emilief
                      b
                      butterfly Sep 22, 2006 11:07 PM

                      I'm sure that was a good sandwich, but I think the NYT went too far in calling it a cuban... they only got one of the ingredients right (roast pork)! No jalapeños (pickles slices), no olive oil (butter), no alioli (mustard, maybe mayo), no gouda (swiss), proscuitto (usually regular ham, but who can really complain about proscuitto?)... Can you tell that I've lived with a displaced cubano for 13 years? I could dictate the proper sandwich mixto ingredients in my sleep!

                    2. e
                      enjayare Oct 9, 2009 12:17 PM

                      What about ciabatta bread? Would that do?

                      1. e
                        enjayare Oct 9, 2009 12:19 PM

                        BTW: Apparently the BEST place to get a cuban sandwich outside of Miami is in Union City NJ -- maybe you can get the bread there. (Not sure if there is any place in particular but they have a large cuban population)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: enjayare
                          scubadoo97 Oct 10, 2009 06:32 AM

                          Hey you are leaving out Tampa which maybe the home to the original Cuban sandwich. Yeah I know Miami and Tampa debate the origin. La Segunda Central Bakery in Tampa has some of the best Cuban bread around.

                          1. re: enjayare
                            f
                            fourunder Oct 10, 2009 06:42 AM

                            Probably any cafeteria on Bergenline will have excellent cubanos.....but I like Gilberto's,
                            7616 Bergenline Ave North Bergen, NJ 07047-4958 - (201) 854-9876

                          2. alkapal Oct 14, 2009 10:45 AM

                            i agree with the soft hero roll as subsitute for cuban bread, which is light, soft and petty non-descript. def. don't use king's hawaiian.

                            Show Hidden Posts