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BBA Challenge: Anadama Bread

What is one culinary fear that you have? Whatever it is... overcome it. I know, maybe it's easier said than done, but I overcame mine and I know you can too. My culinary fear? Yeast. It wasn't so much a fear per se, but it was one ingredient that I was hesitant to work with. After some great encouragement and some solid recipes using yeast that had successful results, here I am dedicating myself to making bread every week until March of next year. That's right... I'm making weekly bread, thanks to Pinch My Salt and her Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge.

Bread Baker's Apprentice

You can read how it all started here, in Pinch My Salt's blog. Every week going forward, a group of 200 bread loving folks will be baking their way through each recipe in order as it appears in Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice cookbook. I'm one of these 200 bread loving folks who are taking on this challenge, however you're more than welcome to join in!

Our first recipe is Anadama bread on page 108. The story behind this bread is that...
"A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna, for serving him nothing but cornmeal and molasses, one day adds flour and yeast to his porridge and eats the resultant bread, while cursing, 'Anna, damn her.'" - Wikipedia

When I first read through the recipe, I never considered using molasses and cornmreal in bread. This is a 2 day bread recipe that took quite a bit of time, starting with creating a "sponge" of cornmeal and water which was done overnight. The sponge is then combined with flour, yeast, and water and left to ferment for about 1 hour.


More flour, salt, molasses and butter is added to the fermented sponge until it forms a ball and then it's kneaded.


The kneaded dough is placed in an oiled bowl and left to ferment for another hour and a half.


An hour and a half later, the dough has doubled in size and is ready to set into pans.


With only one loaf pan, I divided the dough in half and placed one half in my loaf pan and made small Anadama rolls with the remaining half. These needed to proof before baking, so they sat for another hour and a half...


Once the dough has crested above the top of my loaf pan and my rolls have expanded a bit, they were ready for the oven! These baked for 40-45 minutes...


After sleeping through the night and an additional 4+ hours since I started preparing and making this bread, I'm ready to dig in! It was definitely worth the wait because the flavor is sweet, nutty and a delicious combination of molasses and cornmeal. I can't wait to make some sandwiches with my loaf and some toasted croutons with the rolls, so stay tuned for those recipes using Anadama bread!

15 comments

  1. Love your pics and little rolls - so cute! Enjoy! Happy Baking!

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  2. Glad you are digging in to get rid of your yeast fear. You did great.
    Susie

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  3. Wow, great challenge! I have never been afraid of yeast. I think my culinary fear is eggs. Any recipe that involves meringue or making things like custards where you have to get the egg to the perfect temperature to avoid them scrambling in your custard. That is what scares me, I also always worry about the sizes of the eggs, I feel like the eggs in England are smaller. I don't know why, we probably have mutant chickens in the US but I always wonder if I should double up on the eggs when I am using my American cookbooks. I guess I should commit to being braver with eggs!

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  4. Congrats on conquering a culinary challenge! Look forward to seeing your weekly baking endeavors!

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  5. I truly believe that fresh homemade bread is the ultimate comfort food.

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  6. Hi Joelen,
    Your bread (and rolls) like great! I thought this was a good recipe to start with - interesting, but no too hard, and it all worked! (That was the best part!) Having anadama toast for breakfast right now!
    Audrey

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  7. Those little rolls are very cute.

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  8. What a great idea! I, too, have a fear of yeast breads. I just may have to join... :) Thanks for posting!

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  9. What a fun challenge! Baking bread every week is quite a commitment. You will walk away from this with some great recipes and know how. Have fun!

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  10. Those turned out great!! I would love to do that every week so I could get better at bread, but I don't know what I would do with it all.

    I will look forward to seeing what else you do with the upcoming challenges!

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  11. Beautiful looking bread! I used to have a yeast fear as well. Once you get over it, it's rather liberating, isn't it?

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  12. Your bread looks awesome! Congrats!

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  13. You are going to be such a yeast expert!

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  14. I love the rolls and the idea of making them into croutons later.:)

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  15. I've never heard of that! Sounds yummy! And I'm totally lusting after that giant glass bowl you have there.

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