I have been baking some bread this weekend. This one for the first time and another one I have made a few times before (will do another post of that later).
Anadama bread is a traditional sweet bread of New England and chewy and dense in texture. Made with white flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes rye flour, there are many stories about the origin of this bread.
The most well known one is this quaint one. A fisherman’s wife Anna, used to serve him cornmeal and molasses every evening. One day Anna added flour and yeast to his porridge to make a bread. The fisherman, upset by the lack of variety in his evening meal, ate this bread while apparently muttering “Anna- damn her” and hence the name!
While history does not confirm this version, this bread has been baked since before the 1940s and is popular along the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.
The recipe follows.
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp light molasses (I used honey)
½ cup warm water
3 cups flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp butter (I used oil)
1 tsp salt
To the warm water, add the honey and yeast. Mix and allow to prove. In a bowl, Mix the flour, cornmeal and salt till well blended. Add the yeast and then the oil/ butter. Adding water as required, knead into a soft dough. Cover and keep aside to double in size.
Now, punch down the dough and then press out into a rectangle to fit your loaf pan. Tightly roll the dough from the short end, as for a swiss or jelly roll, and pinch the sides to seal neatly. Place the loaf in a greased tin and allow to rise again. Brush with water if you want a crust.
Bake at 190C for about 35 minutes. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack. This bread is good for toasting or making French Toast.
My loaf looks a bit lop-sided (I’m sure this is allowed for home made bread)! This bread has just a hint of sweetness, is beautifully crusty on the outside but nice and soft inside. Very tasty, too.