Delicious Cuban Bread Recipe for Authentic Sandwiches

Are you ready to take your bread-making game to the next level? Look no further than this incredible Cuban bread recipe. Known as pan cubano, this bread is a staple in Cuban cuisine and is the perfect addition to any meal.

What makes Cuban bread so special? The secret is in the ingredients and the process. The combination of white and whole wheat flour, lard, and a touch of sugar creates a soft and chewy texture with a slightly sweet flavor. And with a few simple steps, you can have homemade Cuban bread that rivals any bakery.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is also versatile. Use it to make a classic Cuban sandwich (or cubano), pair it with your favorite soup or stew, or simply enjoy it on its own. Plus, with the ability to make-ahead, store, and reheat, you can have fresh Cuban bread whenever you want it.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to knead some dough. This Cuban bread recipe will impress even the most discerning bread-lovers and transport your taste buds to the streets of Havana.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Incredible Cuban Bread
Incredible Cuban Bread

If you’re a bread lover, you will fall head over heels for this incredible Cuban bread recipe. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sinking your teeth into a warm, freshly baked slice of bread straight out of the oven. And what makes Cuban bread so unique and delicious? It’s the perfect combination of a crispy crust and a soft, fluffy interior.

This bread is perfect for making the ultimate Cuban sandwich, but it’s also great on its own. You can enjoy it with a smear of butter, dip it into some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or use it as a base for a bruschetta or avocado toast. The possibilities are endless!

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s easy to make and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. All you need is some basic ingredients like flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. And if you’re worried about not having enough experience with bread-making, don’t be! This recipe is beginner-friendly and the step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.

But what truly sets this Cuban bread recipe apart is the use of lard. While some recipes call for butter or oil, lard is the traditional ingredient used in making authentic Cuban bread. It gives the bread a rich, buttery flavor and helps to create that perfect crispy crust.

So why will you love this recipe? Because it’s simple, delicious, and versatile. And once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought bread again.

Ingredient List

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this incredible Cuban bread. This recipe uses a blend of white flour and whole wheat flour to achieve that classic Cuban bread texture. You’ll also need instant yeast, which is different from active dry yeast, as it doesn’t require proofing in hot water with sugar. The lard in this recipe adds flavor and helps create a soft crumb, but you can substitute it with vegetable shortening or butter. Don’t forget to have warm water on hand to activate the yeast, and salt and sugar to add flavor to the bread. Here’s the complete list of ingredients:

  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages of instant yeast (4 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of lard
  • 2 cups of warm water

Note that you’ll need a Cuban bread pan or a bread pan that can accommodate a 14-inch-long loaf to achieve the signature shape of Cuban bread. Let’s move on to the recipe how-to!

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s start making our Incredible Cuban Bread!

Step 1: Mixing the Dough

  1. Dissolve 2 packages of instant yeast and 3 tablespoons of white sugar in 1 1/2 cups of warm water.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/4 cup of lard.

  3. Once the yeast mixture has activated, add it to the flour mixture and mix until a dough is formed.

  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

Step 2: Shaping the Bread

  1. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal parts.

  2. Shape each part into a long, thin loaf and place it in a greased Cuban bread pan.

  3. Cover the pans with a clean cloth and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Step 3: Baking the Bread

  1. Uncover the pans and use a sharp knife to make diagonal cuts on the top of the loaves.

  2. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

  3. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Congratulations, you have just made your very own homemade Cuban bread!


  • To achieve a soft Cuban bread, brush the tops with a mixture of equal parts of water and sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.

  • For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour.

  • Don’t have a Cuban bread pan? You can use any bread pan or even shape the dough into a round loaf.

  • For a sweeter bread, add 1/2 cup of sugar to the dough mixture.

  • If using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, proof the yeast first by dissolving it in warm water with a pinch of sugar before adding it to the flour mixture.

Now that you know how to make authentic Cuban bread, you can use it to make delicious Cuban sandwiches or pair it with your favorite soup or stew. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

While this incredible Cuban bread recipe is already pretty fantastic on its own, you can always experiment with substitutions and variations to make it your own. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Whole Wheat Flour: If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can try using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Keep in mind that whole wheat flour has a stronger taste and denser texture, so you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly.

– Gluten-Free: If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you can substitute the white flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour. However, keep in mind that the texture and taste of the bread may differ from the original recipe.

– Lard: The lard in the recipe can be substituted with butter, vegetable oil, or even coconut oil. The type of fat you use can affect the flavor and texture of the bread, so choose one that complements your taste preferences.

– Sweet Bread: For a sweeter version of the bread, you can add a bit more sugar to the dough or sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking.

– Cuban Medianoche Bread: This is a slightly sweeter version of Cuban bread that is often used for making medianoche sandwiches. To make this variation, add a bit more sugar to the dough and shape it into smaller loaves.

– Authentic Cuban Bread: If you want to make the bread as authentic as possible, use King Arthur bread flour and Palmetto brand lard. These ingredients are commonly used in traditional Cuban bread recipes.

– Sandwich Cubano: To make the perfect Cuban sandwich (or Cubano), use this bread recipe and fill it with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.

Remember, the key to successful substitutions and variations is to experiment and have fun! Don’t be afraid to try new things and make the recipe your own.

Serving and Pairing

Cuban bread is a versatile bread that can be enjoyed in many ways. The most popular way to serve Cuban bread is as part of a Cuban sandwich, but it can also be enjoyed on its own as a side dish or snack.

To serve Cuban bread as part of a Cuban sandwich, simply slice the bread lengthwise and fill it with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Then, press it in a sandwich press until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy. The result is a mouthwatering sandwich that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

However, Cuban bread can also be served in other ways. For example, you can slice it and serve it with butter or jam for breakfast, or you can use it to make croutons for your salad. Cuban bread can also be used as a base for bruschetta or as a dipping bread for soups and stews.

When it comes to pairing, Cuban bread goes well with a variety of dishes. It pairs perfectly with Cuban dishes like ropa vieja, picadillo, and arroz con pollo. It also goes well with other Latin American dishes like tacos, empanadas, and ceviche. Additionally, Cuban bread is a great accompaniment to soups and stews, as it can help soak up the flavorful broth.

Overall, Cuban bread is a versatile bread that can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether you’re making a Cuban sandwich or serving it as a side dish, this bread is sure to impress.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Once you’ve made your incredible Cuban bread, you’ll want to know how to store and reheat it to ensure that it stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible. This bread is best eaten fresh, but if you have any leftovers, there are a few options for storing it.

To store your Cuban bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature for up to three days. If you want to keep it for longer, you can store it in the freezer for up to three months. To freeze the bread, make sure it has fully cooled and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil. When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours or pop it in the oven to reheat.

To reheat your Cuban bread, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and wrap the bread in foil. Place the wrapped bread in the oven for 10-15 minutes to warm it up. You can also slice the bread and toast it in a toaster or on a grill. If you’re making a Cuban sandwich, you can heat up the bread in a pan or on a griddle before assembling the sandwich.

If you want to make your Cuban bread ahead of time, you can freeze the dough before baking it. To do this, shape the dough into a loaf and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil. Label and date the package and freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to bake the bread, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight and then let it come to room temperature for an hour or two before baking.

By following these tips and tricks for storing and reheating your incredible Cuban bread, you’ll be able to enjoy it for days to come.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all the ingredients and instructions to make a delicious Cuban bread, let me share some tips and tricks to help you achieve the best possible results.

1. Use high-quality ingredients: The quality of your ingredients will greatly affect the taste and texture of your bread. Use fresh, good quality flour, yeast, and lard for the best results. I recommend using King Arthur all-purpose flour and Red Star active dry yeast.

2. Use room temperature ingredients: Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you start mixing your dough. This helps the yeast to activate properly and ensures that your dough rises evenly.

3. Knead the dough thoroughly: Kneading the dough is an essential step in making Cuban bread. It helps develop gluten, which gives the bread its chewy texture. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic.

4. Let the dough rise properly: The dough needs to double in size before you bake it. Make sure to place it in a warm, draft-free spot and cover it with a damp towel to keep it moist. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity.

5. Score the bread before baking: Use a sharp knife or razor blade to score the bread in a diagonal pattern. This helps the bread rise properly in the oven and gives it that signature rustic look.

6. Use a baking stone or Dutch oven: For the best results, bake your Cuban bread on a baking stone or in a Dutch oven. This helps to create a crisp, golden crust and a soft, chewy interior.

7. Brush the bread with butter: Once the bread is out of the oven, brush it with melted butter. This helps to soften the crust and gives the bread a delicious, buttery flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a perfect loaf of homemade Cuban bread. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make the recipe your own by adding different herbs or spices to the dough. Enjoy!


Now, let’s move on to the FAQ section. You might have some questions about the ingredients, process, or storage of this incredible Cuban bread recipe. Here, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help you make the perfect loaf of bread.

What makes Cuban bread special?

When it comes to bread, Cuban bread stands out with its distinct texture and flavor. The contrast of its thin and crunchy exterior with its soft and airy interior is what sets it apart from other bread styles. Its unique texture also makes it the perfect bread for pressing, as it retains its softness inside while crisping up like a cracker on the outside.

What can I use instead of lard in Cuban bread?

For this recipe, I decided to use King Arthur flour’s Cuban bread recipe as a base, but made a few modifications to make it vegetarian-friendly. Instead of using lard, I opted for butter, and added some whole wheat flour to increase the fiber content. This resulted in a delicious and healthy twist on the traditional Cuban bread. The recipe is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the flavors of Cuban cuisine without any meat-based ingredients.

Why does Cuban bread get hard?

As bread cools down and loses moisture, it undergoes a natural process called crystallization. This process is essential for the bread to firm up and become sliceable. However, as the bread continues to lose moisture, more starch crystals form, causing the bread to become stale.

What makes Cuban bread different?

Cuban Bread is a unique bread recipe that calls for a special ingredient – lard. This ingredient sets it apart from other bread recipes that typically don’t include lard. The addition of lard gives the bread a distinct flavor and texture that is best enjoyed on the day it is baked. However, it also means that the bread tends to dry out quickly, making it less enjoyable the day after.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking for an incredible Cuban bread recipe, you have come to the right place. This recipe is easy to follow, and the results are amazing. The bread is soft, chewy, and perfect for making a delicious Cuban sandwich or enjoying on its own. The incorporation of whole wheat flour and lard adds a unique flavor and texture to the bread, making it stand out from other bread recipes.

With a little practice and patience, you can make homemade Cuban bread that rivals even the best bakeries. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and start baking! Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Incredible Cuban Bread Recipe

This is a slight adaption of a recipe from Amy Dacyczyn’s “The Complete Tightwad Gazette.” We lived on this bread when my son was little as we could not afford to buy regular sliced bread. We often make 12 rolls instead of the 2 loaves. This is wonderful bread!

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 -4 cups white flour
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
  1. Mix the 2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups of the white flour together.
  2. Add the yeast, the sugar, and the salt.
  3. Pour in the hot water and beat for 100 strokes (or 3 minutes with a mixer).
  4. Stir in the rest of the flour until it is no longer sticky.
  5. Knead it for 8 minutes.
  6. Put the dough in a metal bowl that you have sprayed with cooking spray.
  7. Cover it with a damp towel.
  8. Let it rise for 15 minutes.
  9. Punch it down.
  10. Divide it into 2 pieces.
  11. Shape each piece into a round loaf and put them on a baking sheet that you have sprayed with cooking spray.
  12. Cut an x in the top of each loaf.
  13. If you want you can brush the top with water and put sesame seeds or poppy seeds on top.
  14. Put the pan on the middle rack of a cold oven.
  15. Put a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf.
  16. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  17. Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes or until it is deep golden brown.
  18. **Ifyou want to use your food processor, put all the dry into the bowl.
  19. Turn it on and slowly add the water until the dough forms a ball.
  20. Let it spin 20 times.
Appetizer/Side dish
< 4 Hours, Breads, Caribbean, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Vegan, Yeast

[custom-related-posts title=”Recommended Recipes Just For You” none_text=”None found” order_by=”date” order=”ASC”]