Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bread of the Week: Anadama Bread

I found another recipe that uses molasses! I'd never heard of Anadama bread, and skipped this page in The Bread Baker's Apprentice entirely until last week because of it. But Bill wanted a loaf bread, so I flipped through the book again. I'm so glad I did! Its flavors are from molasses and cornmeal, making it kind of sweet and very fragrant. Not to mention it's got a funny background story.

First make a soaker with water and cornmeal (polenta) the day before. It's another awesome thing about this recipe--I get to use polenta in a different way.

The next day, add the yeast and two cups of flour to the soaker. Mix and let it sit for an hour until it's bubbly.

Add the remaining flour, butter, and molasses. Mix until the mixture comes together. Then knead for ten minutes until it passes the window pane test. It was a lot of dough so I hand kneaded to protect the stand mixer.

Shape the dough into a boule and put it in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for two hours.

Once the dough rises to twice its original size, punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf. My bread pan is twice the suggested size, so instead of two loaves, I made a giant one. And boy, it was giant. I didn't know how much it was going to rise in the oven on top of the proofed size. Sprinkle some cornmeal on top before putting it in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

My attempt at scoring the bread did not matter because it reached new heights in the oven. I put the pan in the middle shelf as instructed, but the top touched heating element after 20 minutes. But it was still delicious (not to mention the nice sandwich slice shapes)!

I think it will go really well with ham, but we have roast beef and Swiss cheese this week. Nonetheless, Bill's been enjoying his sandwiches. Even though (or because of) the sandwiches are huge and I have to cut the sides to fit them in his lunch box. Just plain butter is tasty too. It brings out the corn flavor. Try some Anadama bread if you hadn't heard of it like me. I think you will be pleased!

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