Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anadama Bread

Legend has it that this bread, in its New England origins, was given its name by a fisherman whose wife refused to bake him bread. He created his own, and named it "Anna, damn her." Dunno how close to fact the tale is, but dammit, the bread is almost sinful.

The Bat makes it a couple of times a year, not generally for any special occasion, but as her whimsy takes her. Any time this comes out of the oven should be declared a national holiday, or, at least, a day of feasting, song and dance.

It makes two standard loaves, but also can make awesome rolls. The Bat gives us the best of both worlds, by using an extra-long loaf pan (16-ish x 4-ish inches) and five smallish rolls in an 8-inch square pan. Pop gets the rolls, and therein lies true love.

Anadama Bread

5 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
1/2 cup corn meal
1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast or 3/5 oz cake fresh yeast
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup molasses

In a small bowl, stir 1 cup of cold water into corn meal. In saucepan, bring another cup of water to a rolling boil. Stirring constantly, pour corn meal mixture into water. continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick (about 10 minutes). Add salt, butter, molasses. Allow to cool to tepid.

In larger mixing bowl, warm remaining water until it is tepid, stir yeast into it. Add the cooled corn meal mixture and gradually stir in about 4 1/2 cups of the flour, kneading to make a stiff dough. Knead well for about 10 minutes until the dough is resilient (if it is still sticky, you may need to add a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, put it in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about one and a half hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough and divide into two pieces. Shape each half into a loaf and put the loaves in buttered standard loaf pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch). Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has again doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 350º F [180º C] for one hour, or until the loaves sound hollow if tapped on bottom.

Best served warm from the oven, with real butter.

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