Glenn Lindgren: The medianoche (midnight) sandwich is the Cuban sandwich's smaller cousin.
Jorge Castillo: To make a medianoche, you need medianoche bread, a sweet, eggy roll that is the perfect complement to the salty tang of the ham and cheese.
Glenn Lindgren: You can make these rolls smaller or large depending on you preference. If we're going to make medianoche sandwiches, we sometimes make them longer.
Jorge Castillo: We know, the medianoche is meant as a snack sandwich -- more of a bocadito -- but we like a big sandwich!
A sweet, eggy bread roll that complements the salty tang of ham and cheese.
INGREDIENTS:2 packages dry active yeast
Egg Wash1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons warm water
In a large bowl, mix yeast and three tablespoons sugar in one cup warm water. Place in a warm place and wait for the yeast to begin bubbling. (If it doesn't bubble and foam, you have some bad yeast or something else went wrong and you'll need to start over.)
Beat the eggs until foamy. Add the eggs, the rest of the sugar, the salt, and the melted lard to the yeast/water mixture.
Using the dough hooks on your electric mixer, gradually mix in flour. Add flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Adjust the mixer speed to continue kneading the dough for three to five minutes until the dough gets stiff and pliable. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it, then turn the dough so that the greased side is up. Cover with a slightly damp, clean towel. Let rise in a warm place for about one hour or until the dough ball doubles in volume.
Place the dough on your work surface and punch it down. Divide the dough into good-sized handfuls. Roll each handful on a lightly floured surface to make cylinders about five inches long and about 2 1/4 inches in diameter. Arrange rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a slightly damp, clean towel. Let rise in a warm place for about one hour or until the rolls double in volume.
Preheat oven to 350º F
Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow seam down the middle of the top of the bread, leaving an inch or two of uncut top on each end of the loaf. Brush the tops of the rolls liberally with the egg glaze.
Bake until golden brown -- about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven, take them off the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack. While they are still warm, brush the tops with a little melted butter. Use for medianoche sandwiches, or serve warm as a side dish.
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