Something Special: Cuban Bread at Karla Cuban Bakery

May 28, 2022

Palm trees, palmetto fronds, sunshine, and of course, a sandwich Cubano made with authentic Cuban bread and served with a smile, alongside a hot cup of rich, dark Cuban coffee — there’s no place else in the country like Miami. 

Cuban sandwich bread, or pan Cubano, is an integral element of some of the finest sandwich concoctions around. It’s a proud part of the traditional Miami lifestyle, and a cornerstone of the menu at Karla Cuban Bakery and other local favorite dining spots.

What is it about Cuban bread that gives it such cultural and culinary importance across Florida in general, and Miami in particular? It comes down to the history, ingredients, preparation, and flavor behind this delicious and essential part of our city and region. 

Those aspects help make every bite of bread a small taste of the vibrant Miami life, and every sandwich Cubano an experience to savor.

The History

Like all classic parts of the American cultural landscape, the origins of Cuban bread contain a little truth, a little myth, and a lot of love. It’s a story of the country, and it’s one that highlights our ability to overcome hardship and find beauty in adversity.

Pan Cubano, along with medianoche bread, both got their start in the Caribbean region, and both were local adaptations of European bread recipes. Supplies were often hard to come by in colonial Cuba and other islands, and folks learned to use what they had. 

Cuban bread comes from bakers learning to adapt to their circumstances and making the best of their situation. Versions of this regional specialty bread likely flourished for decades or even centuries before it made its way to Florida bakeries in the late 19th century, and became a household staple.

Today, the Cuban loaf is part of Miami’s life. A city visitor searching for “pan Cubano bread near me” can take a trip to their nearby Karla Cuban Bakery, and bite into a little piece of history.

The Ingredients

Cuban bread’s history shines through in many areas, particularly so in the kitchen. What goes into pan Cubano stems from its heritage, and modern Miami destinations like Karla Cuban Bakery work hard to carry strict standards for quality and freshness forward into today.

The base of Cuban bread is similar to that of a French baguette or an Italian loaf, but there are regional differences that were dictated by ingredient availability in tropical Cuba. 

Traditionally, the bread gets a light, fluffy texture from the blend of flour, salt, and a touch of fat or shortening. And a little sugar adds a hint of sweetness to the bread that helps make it ideal to accompany roast pork, ham, cheese, mustard, pickles, and more.

The small adjustments Cuban and Floridian bakers made to accommodate their situations back in colonial times continue to inform every loaf of pan Cubano and can make a trip to Karla Cuban bakery the perfect way to taste what Miami has to offer.

The Preparation

Cuban bread is part of Miami’s history, and the ingredients reflect the region’s culture and traditions. Tradition also informs the way bakers work with pan Cubano, and gives every loaf its special flavor and texture.

When Karla Cuban Bakery gets ready to start our day, one of the first orders of business is to start preparing the day’s medianoche bread and pan Cubano. It’s a time-honored process and one that requires skill, experience, and respect for the people who came before us and established the methods we use.

We follow tradition in our preparation and stretch the bread into a long, thin, airy loaf that was originally designed to extend its use during times of short rations and allow for air pockets within the loaf to stretch the number of available slices.

Heritage and history help make up the fabric of the modern world, and they guide Karla Cuban Bakery in the way we prepare our bread. It connects us to our past and adds flavor to our lives.

The Experience

The tradition, ingredients, and method behind Cuban bread all help make it part of Miami’s foundation. But the experience of biting into a sandwich Cubano, and enjoying the flavors and textures of pan Cubano, is what makes it a local mainstay.

The crust of a pan Cubano is thin and crackery, and should be brittle to the bite. And the interior is light and soft, like spun sugar, and melts in the mouth. And the flavor is airy but rich, crumbly yet creamy.

Every bite from a loaf of bread from Karla Cuban Bakery brings a bit of crunch, a bit of smoothness, and the great taste of fresh ingredients, prepared by a seasoned hand, with an eye to, and respect for, tradition.

It’s an experience many Miamians crave, and one they come to us to enjoy every day.

Discover Authentic Cuban Bread at Karla Cuban Bakery

Pan Cubano is part of Miami, and we at Karla Cuban Bakery are proud to continue the traditions behind this regional specialty. Our pan Cubano is prepared daily by our expert bakers, using long-established methods and made with love.

We’re Miami’s destination for pastries, sandwiches, and of course, dark, rich Cuban coffee. Karla Cuban Bakery works each day to bring the flavors and energy of the islands to the city, and we’re just getting started.

Want to experience the history and flavors that helped make Miami the town we love? Visit Karla Cuban Bakery today, and experience a taste of the city.