There are a number of legends about how Anadama bread got its name. The most popular story is about a New England fisherman who grew tired of eating the cornmeal and molasses mush made by his wife, Anna. One evening, after a long day of fishing, he came home and, in a fit of anger, went into the kitchen to make something different to eat. He baked a loaf of bread using the ingredients he could find in the kitchen and, while eating his bread, he could be heard mumbling, “Anna, damn her.”
- 1/4 cup warm water, 95 to 110 degrees F
- 2-1/4 tsp or 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3-1/2 cups bread flour, about
- In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup warm water and yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and set aside. In small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. In large bowl, pour in boiling water. Add butter, cornmeal, molasses, sugar, and salt. Mix until the butter is complete melted. Allow to cool until warm. Mix in yeast solution. Begin mixing in flour, one cup at a time, until the dough is too thick to mix. Turn out on floured board and knead the dough, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth, not sticky.
- Put the dough in a buttered bowl and turn it so that the top side of the dough is buttered. Cover and let rise until double in size, about an hour. Punch down dough. Turn out on floured board and knead dough for about 3 minutes. Roll dough into a large rectangle and roll it up to form a bread loaf. Pinch seams and tuck under ends. Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Butter one bread pan. Sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the pan and place loaf in pan. Cover and let rise until double in size or for about 30 minutes.
- To make the bread top shiny, beat 1 egg white in a dish. Brush egg white onto top of bread. Using a sharp knife, make two or three slashes across the top of the loaf to prevent the crust from cracking. Bake bread at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until the bread is a lovely dark brown. Remove bread from pan and let cool on a rack.
Bread Baking Tips:
It is not hard to learn how to braid bread dough.
An opened jar of molasses lasts up to one year.
To prevent the molasses from sticking to your measuring spoon, coat the spoon in a tiny amount of cooking oil.
Bread flour has a higher amount of gluten than all-purpose flour. This means that bread made with bread flour will rise higher than bread made with all-purpose flour. You can make your own bread flour by adding 1-1/2 teaspoons gluten to each cup of all-purpose flour you use in your bread recipe.
Store flour properly to keep it from spoiling.
To keep bread soft, store in a plastic bag.
Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.
Use bottled water instead of tap water to make your breads. Water softeners and chlorinated public water can sometimes kill the yeast needed to make your bread dough rise.
Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.
Brush loaves with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.
Brush loaves with egg white before baking to produce a shiny crust.
Spraying loaves with water while they bake will produce a crispy crust.