Tuesday, July 26, 2011


If you're looking for something fun to cook this summer, look no further than the Florida Keys Cookbook. I picked this up in the keys last fall, and I'm normally not a cookbook buyer, but there were so many interesting recipes that I didn't think I could find anywhere else. Plus it has a lot of neat history about the keys and the island fusion foods that were created there. 

 It has so many good recipes for homemade, easy-to-make ice cream,  dips and breads. I've been making cuban bread the past couple of nights. The only odd step that I've never done before was add a pot of boiling water in the oven while making it. The bread turns out crispy on the outside and so soft on the inside. The recipes are really very easy and don't require any out of the box utensils or ingredients, except for guava if you don't live in Florida. 

Here's one of the recipes:

Cuban Bread

5 to 7 c of all purpose bread flour ($4)
3 tbsp dry yeast ( 4 pack for $1.50)
1 tbsp salt (I use coarse sea salt)
2 tbsp sugar (I use pure cane sugar)
2 c warm water

Mix 4 c of flour with the rest of the ingredients together. Add in warm water and "stroke" it for a minute.  Let sit for 15 minutes to rise. 

Sprinkle 1 to 2 cups of flour in dough to make it dry. Take out and knead for 6 minutes. Cut into 2 pieces, or as I do 2 big pieces and 2 to 3 small pieces. Roll it and form it into a bread shape. 

Spray baking sheet with oil and place breads apart from each other. Cut the dough deeply with a sharp knife. It creates that lovely opening on top. Spray a little olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on top (or whatever extra herbs or spices you like). 

Place a bowl of boiling water on bottom tray in oven. Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Place baking sheet on top rack and let cook for 50 minutes. (In my oven, they cooked thoroughly at 40 minutes). 

Next, go have a glass of wine and get ready to have some delicious bread. Cheers! 

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