World Bread Day 2008: Anadama Bread

I am a bread baker. I make the bread my family eats. This sounds strange to me. Although the ingredients are very simple, the process always seemed too mysterious, too magical. This year I’ve fallen {hard} in love with baking. I’m still a beginner, learning and experimenting my way through pounds and pounds of flour.

Always on the look out for new challenges, I’ve decided to participate in World Bread Day today. I made anadama bread, using a formula from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.

I was unaware of anadama bread prior to buying and reading this book. Apparently this is a popular bread on the East Coast, particularly New England. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and for the most part have lived in California my whole life. The story of the creation of this bread involves an angry husband, cornmeal mush, and molasses. You can read about it here.

The formula was pretty straightforward and didn’t involve a lot of hands on time. It does take 2 days due to creating a ‘soaker’ of 6 ounces of coarse cornmeal and 8 ounces of water on Day 1.

Anadama Bread (Baker’s Precentage Formula)

Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Soaker:

  • Cornmeal     100%
  • Water     133%

Dough:

  • Bread flour     100%
  • Instant yeast     1.1%
  • Soaker     69.1%
  • Water     39.5%
  • Salt     1.9%
  • Molasses     19.8%
  • Unsalted butter     4.9%
  1. On Day 1, create the soaker by mixing the water and cornmeal together in a small bowl. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, mix half the flour, yeast, soaker, and water in large mixing bowl. Cover and let ferment for approximately an hour or until mixture starts to bubble.
  3. Add rest of flour, the salt, molasses, and butter; Mix on low speed using paddle attachment until ingredients form a ball. Add flour or water if necessary. Flour–if it is too wet; Water–if it is too dry.
  4. Switch to dough hook and knead on medium speed for 6 to 8 minutes until dough is firm but supple and pliable. The dough temperature should read 77 to 81 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough ferment for 90 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Remove the dough from bowl and divide it into equal portions. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled bread pans. Mist tops of loaves with spray oil and cover.
  7. Proof for 60 to 90 minutes, or until loaves have crested and risen above the top of the pans.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap from loaves, mist with spray oil, and sprinkle tops with cornmeal. Place bread pans on sheet pan.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until loaves are a golden brown and the internal temperature reads 185 to 190 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. The loaves will sound hollow when you thunk them on the bottom.
  10. When done, remove immediately from pans and cool on wire rack for at least an hour.

Overall, this bread was yummy and satisfying. It made great sandwich bread. The cornmeal added great texture and heartiness. The molasses added a deeper flavor compared to white sandwich bread. I will definately make this bread again.

9 thoughts on “World Bread Day 2008: Anadama Bread

  1. Ciao ! Thank you for the nice message ! your bread sounds good and interesting I’ll have to try it ! I’m starting to bake bread as well as you even if often I use a bread machine (is that cheating ?) But I love it ! It will be nnice to see all the recipes together !

  2. My husband, who is the breadmaker of the household, loves this recipe (and the story behind the name) – I must remind him to make some more for this weekend!! Your loaves look perfect!
    p.s. sorry if you got this message twice!!

  3. What lovely looking bread! Your results don’t look like a newbies. I often wonder why people mess around with bread making machines when they can make lovely bread like this without one.

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