Cuban bread, also called Pan Cubano, has been gaining a following for its flavor and exceptional texture. It has a unique sweetness, which becomes stronger as you chew. It has a dense, thick, and long texture, which you will never get tired of eating. You can make Cuban sandwiches great for parties or served as snacks.
While you can easily make to-die-for Cuban sandwiches if you live near a Latino bakery, what happens when you don’t? Fortunately, certain bread comes close to what you’re aiming for.
Here’s a list of the best Cuban bread substitutes to choose from:
- Italian Focaccia
- White Sandwich
- Anadama Bread
- Pan Sobao
To help you choose, you can use soft and long bread that is not too crusty.
Top 13 Substitute For Cuban Bread
Focaccia is a flat and circular Italian bread that is spongy, tender, and soft. It’s known for its simple ingredients and “yeasty” taste.
It is often confused with pizza dough, but they are not the same. Focaccia has more yeast, making it look more like a bread loaf, fluffier, and more. Plus, it also has more moisture.
Aside from yeast, the other ingredients used in making the bread are water, salt, and flour. It’s slightly seasoned with a light taste of sourness.
Moreover, focaccia is healthy. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels and is a good source of complex carbohydrates.
You can eat it alone without any topping since the bread is already tasty. It also makes a good combination with salad or a bowl of soup.
Surprisingly, you can get a sweet version of this bread, which you can eat for breakfast or dessert.
This signature French bread makes a good substitute for Cuban bread. Besides the crusty and crispy exterior, it offers almost the same sugary flavor as Cuban bread, which also becomes stronger as you chew.
Additionally, many people mistake baguettes for Pan Cubano, but the major difference is the crusty texture. Baguette also has a nutty flavor close to chestnut.
However, it is recommended to eat this bread in moderation and small portions since it contains a fair amount of sodium and carbohydrates.
This is another sandwich that becomes sweeter as you chew, making it a good option as a substitute for Cuban bread. Additionally, it’s a common bread that you can buy in many bakeshops and stores.
White bread typically pertains to the types made from wheat flour. It is processed to remove the germ and bran layers through milling or grinding until the flour obtains its light color.
It tastes bland at first but gets more delicious after the first bite. Moreover, the texture is so delicate, soft, and easy to squeeze.
Many people love having white bread for breakfast because it’s convenient to eat. It’s clean to consume, too, as it has no crumbs.
However, you have to eat white bread in moderation since it contains additives. Having too much of the bread may worsen health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
This bread that originated in New England is popular due to its color and distinct taste. Similar to Cuban bread, it smells and tastes “yeasty.”
You will smell the yeast even from afar. The bread is made from a combination of yeast, cornmeal, rye flour, and wheat flour.[Source]
Additionally, the bread is sweet, making it a good snack to have on its own or paired with soups or salads. The sweetness is due to the high amounts of molasses added by bakers in seasoning the flour when they make this bread.
The exterior of the bread has crispiness, similar to a baguette. However, its signature feature is its color.
Anadama bread’s exterior has a brown color. And when you break the soft bread, you will notice the inside part is yellow.
This is another good alternative to Cuban bread, with a similar taste. However, its texture is closer to a baguette with a crumbly and crusty exterior.
The bread is popular in many South American and Central American countries. It is also referred to as the baguette’s Mexican version.
The bread has an oval shape, but it’s shorter than a baguette. Bolillo typically measures around six inches long.
Surprisingly, it has the same effect as Cuban bread when it comes to taste. You will enjoy its sweetness the more you chew.
Ciabatta is another Italian bread introduced in 1982 to compete with the French baguette. They are similar in many ways, making both types of bread excellent substitutes for Cuban bread.
Ciabatta is popular for its texture and color. The bread is made from yeast, olive oil, salt, water, and wheat flour.
It uses a wetter flour than a baguette, which gives the bread its distinct features. Ciabatta is flat but not mushy, broad, and spongy.
Challah is another sweet bread that you can eat as an alternative to Cuban bread. It has a rich taste and braided exterior, and the bread originated from the Ashkenazi Jewish bakers.
The sweetness comes from the high amounts of sugar added to the flour in making the bread. It is soft as a pillow with a brown-yellowish tint on the outside.
You won’t notice any breadcrumbs when eating the bread since it is so delicate. It is a staple food for Jewish families and is usually served during Shabbat, Passover, and other important religious ceremonies.
The bread is native to Puerto Rico, and its name pan sobao translates to kneaded bread. It is soft and sweet, which makes it another good option to use and consume instead of Cuban bread.
Additionally, pan sobao is a staple food in the place of its origin. It is made from lard, dry yeast, kosher salt, bread flour, and granulated sugar.
It has a mild greasy feel due to its lard content, but it makes a good combination with the bread’s sweetness. It has a slightly crispy texture with soft and chewy bread inside.
The bread hails from Louisiana, which many people in the place recommend and serve their guests. It was introduced in 1906 when a bakery in the area started producing the bread.
Muffuletta is a big, round flatbread. It measures around 20 inches long.
The bread is typically served split and sprinkled with sesame seeds, meat, cheese, onions, or greens. It has a thin crust with a crunchy texture.
This bread is best consumed immediately after baking to maintain its softness and nice texture.
Despite being mistaken for challah due to a similarity in appearance, the two types of bread are different. However, both of them make a good substitute for Cuban bread.
Brioche, similar to challah, has a semi-hard crumb, braided exterior, and brownish scent. However, brioche has more of the features of a typical French bread.
It is slightly fatty and has a distinct buttery flavor. Moreover, brioche tastes rich and sweet, and makes a good snack or breakfast.
While there are many kinds of French bread, you will typically see this category when looking for a substitute for Cuban bread. French bread is known for its chewy texture and narrow and long features with round edges.
It is made from the simplest ingredients of water, salt, yeast, and flour. French bakeries use electric ovens in making the bread.
However, homemade French bread has more moisture because homemakers prefer spraying the bread with water as it bakes. Surprisingly, this bread tastes sweet despite not having sugar in it.
The bread has a crusty exterior but is chewy on the inside. It is a versatile bread that you can use in making garlic bread or pudding.
It is also typically served on top of a French soup or used as a pizza crust. It complements the taste of Provolone and other cheeses. Despite having low fiber content, the bread is still healthy since it is loaded with vitamin B, zinc, and iron.
What makes American bread a good substitute for Cuban bread? It’s easy to find.
You can get it in stores near you and serve them like how you would eat Cuban bread. However, this is not for people looking for the exact texture and flavor.
American bread is only a go-to bread for people craving for something to serve with other side dishes.
Italian bread is distinct for its circular and flat shape. Many of its types have varying flavors, including savory and sweet.
It’s enough to fill your craving for Cuban bread. Since it originated in Italy, it complements the taste of many pasta dishes.
Bakers typically use water, salt, yeast, and flour in making the bread. Authentic Italian bread is commonly baked using the classic flat stone oven.
The bread has good amounts of iron, vitamin B1, and other nutrients. You can have the bread served with sauces and additional olive oil on top.
Cuban Bread Substitute Related FAQs
What is the bread closest to Cuban bread when it comes to texture and taste?
Anything that has a sweet flavor and crispy texture will do. This makes any type of French bread the best option for a Cuban bread substitute.
In making the substitution, it is best to settle for bread that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. However, do not get the kind that is too crispy or crumbly.
What makes people crave for Cuban bread? What’s so different about it?
Cuban bread has lard, which gives it a heavier flavor. Aside from that, the bread is made from the simplest ingredients, including sugar, salt, yeast, and flour.
The lard in Cuban bread speeds up the drying time of its crumbs. This is why it is best eaten when freshly made than keeping it for later consumption.
Is Cuban bread the same as Puerto Rican bread?
Puerto Rico has its signature water bread or Pan de Agua, common in the Spanish Caribbean.
While it has many similarities to Cuban bread, it tastes slightly sweeter, appears larger, has a softer dough, and has a lighter crust color.