I'm one of those people who make New Year's resolutions without fail. Some resolutions survive the year and others don't (but we won't talk about those!!) This year one of my resolutions is to bake more bread at home. I do a lot of baking and supervise a lot of baking at my job as a pastry chef instructor but my family misses out on a lot of these efforts. I also want to increase my knowledge and skill in bread baking as well. So here is my first effort - starting with A for Anadama bread.
There are many stories on how this bread got its name, one being that Anna left her husband for another man and left nothing at home but cornmeal, flour and molasses. The unfortunate husband put it all together, added some yeast all the while yelling "Anna, damn'er!" and this bread was created. I'm not sure about the accuracy of that story, but it sounds funny enough to keep repeating!
Here's an adaption of Mr. Reinhart's recipe. Thanks to my wonderful husband for the beautiful picture!!
Anadama Bread (adapted from Bread Baker's Apprentice - Peter Reinhart)
Soak for 24 hours:
1 cup cornmeal in 1 cup room temperature water
4 1/2 cups Bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast or 3 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp butter (unsalted)
After your cornmeal has soaked for 24 hours add 2 cups of flour, instant yeast and lukewarm water to form a sponge. Stir together well, cover and let sit at room temperature until bubbles begin to form - about one hour. Stir in the rest of the flour, molasses, salt and butter. If using a Kitchen Aid mixer, use the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 6 - 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and cleans the side of the bowl. Stop mixing, remove dough hook and spray with oil. Cover and let double in size. Divide dough in two and shape into loaves. Place in parchment lined loaf pans and let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan. Bake at 350F for 20 - 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on cooling racks.