One of the main virtues of a Primo is its versatility – the ability to grill, bake, & smoke in the same vessel. By using the Primo as a wood-fired convection oven and taking advantage of the radiant heat generated by the ceramic construction, baking bread on a Primo is easy!
We adapted a Cuban Bread recipe from a 1961 New York Times Cookbook, which notes their recipe is an adaption “of one of the most popular breads made at the James Beard Cooking School in New York.” We like this recipe because you can be eating bread in under 2 hours, there is very little work involved, and the end product is a beautiful, dense, soft bread.
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 6 to 7 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1/3 cup or so olive oil
Start by dissolving the yeast, salt, and sugar in the water. Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook on low speed, add one cup of flour at at time until you have fairly stiff dough that won’t absorb more flour.
Shape into a ball and put into a bowl greased with the olive oil- coat all sides of the ball, cover, and let it rest in a warm place for about an hour.
At this point prepare the Primo. We’ve used the Primo pizza stones in the past and they work well for round breads, bigger single loaves, and of course pizza. Here we opted to use the ceramic d plates wrapped in foil as cooking stones on top of the grill grates since we were looking to make longer loaves of bread. Target a grill temp of 350 or so- let it stabilize for 15 – 20 minutes so the ceramic lid is sufficiently warm. The radiant heat from the ceramic lid is key to an even bake.
After an hour or so the dough should be roughly double in size. Split in half and gently form two loaves. You won’t need to roll or knead the dough much- it will be coated in olive oil and will just need to be shaped.
Once you’ve formed the loaves, let them rise for 5 minutes or so and then give them a few slashes. We used a Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick Perforated French Bread Pan so no cornmeal was needed- if you choose to cook directly on the stones dust your resting surface and the d plates with cornmeal.
Let the loaves go for 25-30 minutes- you are looking for a 200 degree internal temperature- use a Thermapen!
Let the loaves rest for at least a few minutes – you will want to try some warm.
If you are looking for a “crustier” crust brush the loaves with water before and during the bake.
Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!