10.17.2012

Anadama Bread






Several years ago I went to Massachusetts to visit a dear friend.  It was my first visit to New England.  The rolling hills were covered with beautiful colors of Autumn.  I was in awe at the beauty I saw.  Each night my friend prepared the most amazing New England meals.  They were warming and so delicious.   I have mentioned once before how this friend influenced my desire to cook fabulous foods.  One night for dinner she served Anadama bread.  I loved the crunch of the cornmeal mixed with the wheat flour.  The flavor of molasses was very pronounced.  I later wrote to her and asked for the recipe.  She included the history of the name of this warming bread.  


So what does "Anadama" mean? Local legend overwhelmingly credits a Gloucester fisherman with coining the term as a not-so-loving tribute to his wife, Anna. It seems Anna wasn't blessed with talent in the kitchen, and after numerous bowls of molasses and cornmeal porridge for supper, the fisherman angrily tossed in some flour and yeast one evening and threw the mixture into the oven. While it baked he sat muttering, "Anna, Damn her!", and the name was born.
Fortunately, so was this delicious bread. The molasses and cornmeal make for a sweet and nutty aroma while it bakes, which carries over into the flavor.
  (Yankee, New England's web site)


Love it!




For Anadama bread you will need:


1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
4 cups wheat flour
3 cups white flour




Add the yeast to the 1/4 cup warm water.




Let sit for a few minutes to soften.

Repeat after me.  Yeast is my friend, yeast is my friend.




Whisk to dissolve the yeast.








In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the 2 1/4 cup warm water.




Add the sugar.




Salt.




Molasses.





Softened butter.




3 cups of white flour.




Mix until the mixture is smooth.




Add the dissolved yeast.




Mix thoroughly.




Add cornmeal




and the wheat flour 1 cup at a time.




Mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  You may need to to add a bit more flour OR you may not need to add all of the flour.  That's why you just add 1 cup at a time.  The amounts vary from the flour you use to the humidity in your area.  Use your best judgement.  Can I trust you to do that?





Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil into a large bowl.




Add the dough to the bowl and turn it to oil the top of the dough.







Cover with a clean cloth and set aside for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.




Now that the dough has doubled in size.  Punch down the dough.




Remove from the bowl and divide the dough in half.




Form the two halves of dough into nice round balls of dough.  Let rest while you grease the bread pans.







Place the dough into the greased pan.

This is how I shape my loaves. If you have a special way you do it, then do what works for you.




Once again, cover the loaves with a clean cloth and allow to rise until double in size about 1 hour.




Uncover the loaves and place in a preheated 375 degree oven.





 Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.





Remove the bread from the pan immediately .

I like to let my bread cool on its side.  I think it holds the shape better that way.




Two beautiful loaves of Anadma bread.





Whether you enjoy Anadama bread warm from oven, toasted with butter, or as a sweet alternative to your everyday sandwich bread, you can be sure that with every bite you are eating like a true New Englander.





Anadama Bread
Recipe from Ann Luther

1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
4 cups wheat flour
3 cups white flour

Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water.  Allow to set for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes mix the yeast into the water to fully dissolve.  In a large mixing bowl add warm water, salt, sugar, butter and molasses.  Mix in the white flour.  Then pour in yeast.  Add cornmeal and blend well.  slowly mix in wheat flour.  Mix until the dough pulls away from sides of bowl.   Place in a greased bowl and cover.  Allow to rise until double in size.  Punch down and cut dough into 2 balls of dough.  Allow to rest while greasing the pans.  Grease two 9 x 5-inch bread loaf pans.  Shape dough into loaves and place into greased pans.  Cover and let  rise until double in size.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 2 loaves.


Print this recipe

28 comments:

  1. Yum...on my to-do list for tomorrow. I have had this bread form my local baker and love it. Will be fun to try it on my own.

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    1. I hope its as good or better than your baker. I have never seen this bread at a bakery out west. You are so lucky.

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  2. I love hearing your stories behind the recipes! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Why thank you Tiffany Hilton. Every now and then I actually HAVE a story. Love you.

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  3. Your pictures are so nice. I love how you include a picture of each step. Thank you! I would love to try this bread recipe.

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    1. Thank you, Brandi. I appreciate your comment. I hope you get a chance to try the bread.

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  4. Looks like another winner - I'm in bread-baking-mode so I'll add this to my list! Thanks - and I love the story of how it got it's name, too!

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    1. Good to hear from you as always. I hope you get a day to stay home and bake.

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  5. Hi Janet, again a great blog post, and a great recipe. I'll try, of course, in the coming days.
    Greetings from Germany!
    Hermann

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    1. Another kind comment from Germany. I thank you once again. I hope your bread is a success.

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  6. Hi Janet, it's my maiden comment here. Don't know how I stumbled across to your site a while ago but I'm glad I did :) Love your all step-by-step picture tutorials in every post. Very helpful to us. Great site with great recipes! Can't take off my eyes from Anadama bread :)

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    1. Hi Sonia, I'm so glad you stumbled upon me. I hope you will be back. Thank you for your kind comment.

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  7. I'd love to make this! How much salt is required? Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for catching that error. I have made the correction and the amount of salt is 2 teaspoons. Now you can make the bread. Enjoy!

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  8. I made this bread today. I love your blog, and I trust your recipes. It was delicious...! So good! I used all-purpose flour....I didn't have any wheat. I love the tang the molasses adds to it. I'll be making this again and again. Thanks for the great recipe. Once again, I love your blog.

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    1. Oh you just made my day. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I'm happy you loved the bread. It makes great toast, by the way.

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  9. Janet,I made a couple of loaves of this bread and it is delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. We had a cold rainy day and this was the perfect treat to have with hot butter bean and ham soup....thank you!

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    1. Oh yum that sounds delicious. thanks for sharing.

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  10. This story is awesome. Thanks for the chuckle :-D And the bread looks amazing! Just beautiful!

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  11. Hi Janet,

    of course I baked the bread! I omitted the second try the molasses. It tastes better to me.

    Greetings from Germany

    Hermann

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  12. Hello. As always I love reading your posts. I clicked on this link b/c I had an older friend over last week teaching me how to make this bread (a genuine New Englander :) and I was curious what might be different about your recipes. Three leap out at me and I'll share them in case you're interested:

    1. My friend told me to mix the cornmeal w/ lukewarm water the night before and to soak all night. Not sure why. Maybe b/c we were using coarse grain corn meal (polenta).

    2. just before the loaves go into the over, she spritzed the top of the loaves with water and sprinkled on some of the cornmeal. It came out very pretty and had just a little crunch on top as a result.

    3. she told me that the story was that a wife had left her husband with a pot of cornmeal and some bread both being made and the husband threw them together when he found out she'd left him, shouting "anna, damn her!"

    I used this bread for everything this week! Sandwiches, french toast, just w/ butter and honey.
    wonderful.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer for your helpful tips and ideas. Either way the story is pretty funny. You are right this makes fabulous sandwiches, french toast, etc.

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  13. I love your story and the bread.
    I'm cooking for one, do you have recipe for 1 loaf. I was thinking of cut the recipe in half, but afraid I will get it wrong.
    thanks in advance.

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    1. Sorry to respond so late. I have been out of town. You can half the recipe without any trouble. This bread, also, freezes great. It will keep well in the freezer for about 2 weeks or longer. A frozen loaf stashed away comes in handy every now and then. Happy baking.

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  14. I had never heard of Anadama bread until recently and it's delicious! I've now made the same recipe 3 times and it's time to try a different recipe. Your beautiful loaves are irresistible! I've only been baking bread for a few months and am not too happy with how I shape a loaf when using a rectangular bread pan. I love your step-by-step photos but wondered if you could clarify something for me. Do you squish your round loaf into a rectangular pan to create an oblong shape? Also, to form the round loaf do you pull the surface of the dough tight and tuck it under the loaf rotating as you go? I've used the envelope method of shaping loaves with varied results. In the photos your unbaked loaf touches the sides of the pan but not the ends. A few of the tutorials on shaping a loaf for a rectangular bread pan instruct you to shape the dough into an oblong about the same size as your pan, then press down firmly on the top of the loaf after it's in the pan. I find that the bread doesn't dome nicely when you do this. One final question, do you knead your dough by hand at any point when preparing the dough for the first rise, or does the mixer do all the work? Any helpful tips are most definitely appreciated!

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    1. This bread IS amazing. I love it. to answer your questions: 1) I don't do anything special to the dough to shape it. I form it into a ball trying to get out larger air bubbles. I place the round into the loaf pan and leave it just like that. I don't press or form the dough in anyway. As the dough rises it will touch the ends of the pan creating a nice dome. Simple. 2) I let the mixer to all the work. I don't hand knead. Some people love the kneading process, so if you do, by all means give it a few turns by hand. I just let the mixer do the kneading then I plop the dough into a bowl and let it rise. I hope this helps. Happy baking.

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    2. Thanks so much for your quick response. I'm off to try your recipe. I love that it has a combination of white and whole wheat flours. If I can produce loaves that look half as good as yours I'll be delighted! I'm guessing the white flour is unbleached all-purpose flour, not bread flour.

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    3. Yes, all purpose unbleached. Your loaves will look and taste awesome. This bread makes fabulous toast. xo

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