This is an adaptation of one of the most popular breads made at the James Beard Cooking School in New York at one time.
This is the perfect bread for making Cubano Sandwiches .
1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/4 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 to 7 cups sifted flour (measure after sifting)
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add the salt and sugar, stirring thoroughly.
2. Add the flour, one cup at a time, beating it in with a wooden spoon or use the dough hook on an electric mixer at low speed. The dough hook is my method of choice. Add enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough.
3. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, shape it into a ball, place in a greased bowl and grease the top. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place (80 to 85 degrees F). until double in bulk.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and shape into long, French-style loaves or round, Italian-style loaves. Arrange on a baking sheet heavily sprinkled with cornmeal and allow to rise 5 minutes.
5. Slash the tops of the loaves in two or three places with a knife or scissors. Brush the loaves with water and place them in a cold oven. Set the oven at 400 degrees F and place a pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven. Bake the loaves until they are crusty and done, about 40 to 45 minutes.