I never baked much before. The occasional apple or mincemeat pie for holidays and every now and again a loaf of sandwich bread was about it. After all, that was in the land of plenty and we could get almost any variety of tasty bread a short drive away. Having no such resources here, I've learned to bake some really good bread - the Peasant Loaf of course, a tasty Jalapeno-Cheddar, and a really nice Olive Loaf requiring only small modifications to the basic dough recipe.
The other day I had a hankering for a Cuban Sandwich and did a little checking on the Internet to see how they were made. Easy enough. Some mustard, ham, pork roast, and cheese all on Cuban bread and then pressed while being heated. In my continuing research I was amply warned that authentic Cuban bread was a must. Which led me to another recipe search, this time for Cuban Bread.
The recipe is basic and easy enough but I was warned two things make this bread different: The starter is made the day before and the preferred source of fat is lard. Made perfect sense to me as many contemporary chefs cook with lard and it's in vogue to return to the old ways. Although I have made my own lard in the past, getting the necessary pork fat might be a problem. The pork here is rather lean and what fat is recovered is used for fried pork rinds - a very in-demand treat. A special order will be required putting off this particular recipe until the next fat hog is butchered. I'll let you know how it goes.
There are several local breads available. The most common of course being the store-bought, mass produced stuff that is cheap and filling but good for little more than toast. Though I will admit when the local bakery around the corner is in operation and the wind is from the north, it does smell good. Hamburger and hotdog buns are in good supply too and tortillas abound. Some kitchens prepare a fried bread called Fry Jacks (which I love!), and some local entrepreneurs make coconut bread and Johnny Cakes that peddlers sell door to door but I'm not a fan. Further away (Orange Walk, San Pedro, and of course, Belize City) there are bakeries that sell various forms of custom breads but there's little close by. I can't help it, nothing locally competes with my Peasant Loaf.
(Click for here new videos!)