Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pan Cubano: The Keystone of Good Sandwich Making

Sometimes one has a "Eureka!" moment and this occurred shortly after I went to the Main Bar Sandwich Shop in Sarasota a couple of weeks ago.  I saw a comment somewhere that the bread on the Famous Italian was pan Cubano.  This bread tasted similar to what was used at the Yellow Sub in Fort Collins, and I realized that pan Cubano (and variations of it) was the Golden Fleece of sandwich making.

The bread is light as air with a crispy outside, which is perfect.  How I detest hard and crusty bread that cuts up the roof of my mouth like a butterfly knife!  It's lighter than Italian or French bread and wider/flatter.

I decided to make some this morning using the recipe from these guys, who seemed like legit Miami dudes.  The list of ingredients is small but it is a lot of work.  I deviated from the recipe by using Crisco instead of lard (usually don't have a lot of lard on hand) and used All-Purpose Flour instead of 50% All Purpose/50% Bread Flour (I don't know what bread flour is).  Also, I sifted the flour but not sure if it really did anything.

Luckily, it turned out pretty good.  As I write this, my wife is bringing home some salami, ham, and provolone.  I'm going to make a pepper/pickle relish, slice up some tomatoes and onions, make a garlic-infused oil and put this baby to the test.

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