Anadama Bread #2
by Brian Edmonds


I really like cooking with cornmeal, but was getting rather bored with cornbread, when I came across this recipe for a yeast bread using both cornbread and molasses. Two of my favourite things together. It was posted to rec.food.recipes by Joel Ehrlich.

Since creating this page, kmkirk@earthlink.net wrote to tell me Anadama bread has an interesting history: ``According to California legend, an old miner was married to Anna durring the Gold Rush of '49. She was lazy and didn't do her chores very well. One day after a bad day of panning, this guy comes home to find no bread. So he grabs anything he can find and throws it together to make a bread of his own, all the while mumbling, 'Anna, Damn It!' That's how it got it's name!''

As usual, I made it with instant yeast, so some recipe modifications were in order. The first time I tried it, I didn't let the cornmeal soak for long, and it came out a bit crunchy, but the second time it worked just right.

I boiled all 1c of the water, then added the cornmeal and let it soak for five minutes (it gets pretty solid). I then added the molasses, butter and a bit more water just to get it acting wet again and heated it back up so that it was hot to the touch, but not scalding. Then add the liquids to the yeast, salt, and half the flour and carry on with the directions below.

Remember, the great thing about instant yeast is that things rise faster, so you're not likely to have to wait for the full time listed. I pop rising bread into the oven after heating it slightly, and this makes things really just balloon up.

Mike Kelly mikekel@microsoft.com suggests adding two-thirds of a cup of applesauce and a cup of plump raisins for a great variation.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Mix the cornmeal and boiling water. Let stand until cool. Dissolve the yeast in the warm (105° to 115°F) water in a large bowl. Let stand until the yeast foams (about 5 minutes).

Add the molasses, butter, salt and the cooled cornmeal mixture. Stir in half the flour. Beat well. Add more flour, beating until dough is stiff. Cover. Let stand 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Knead 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Clean and grease the bowl. Add the dough to the bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch down and shape into a ball. Grease a round cake pan (9''). Place the dough in the pan, smooth side up. Let rise until doubled (about 1 hour).

Bake until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped (30 to 35 minutes). Remove from pan and brush the top with melted butter while the loaf is still hot. Let cool on a rack.


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