If you want to bake the simplest bread, then it is Anadama bread. It consists of a few ingredients blended together to form a good sandwich bread. One important component that you need is a soaker made of cornmeal. You have to soak cornmeal in water, the day before you want to bake the bread. Most of the time I would forget to soak anything the night before, like the other day I had to wake up around 1 clock in the night to soak urad dal and rice for dosa/rice lentil crepe (a savior during the breakfast, dinner times). From this episode you can see that how cautious I am in soaking my grains. Because I would forget the soak the corn meal, making of this bread was delayed for a long time.
Finally the day before yesterday I was able to make the soaker, and made the bread the next day. Anadama bread is traditional bread from New England .It is mostly served as warm breakfast toast. There is a funny story behind the name of this bread. It goes like this” “A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna who is not interested in much cooking, served him nothing but cornmeal and molasses porridge every evening. One day, he added flour and yeast to porridge and baked the mixture as bread, while cursing, “Anna, damn her.”The result was tasty, sweet bread. If you want read more about this bread from here. And here.
I stopped buying bread from stores and have resorted to baking it, this way we were able to taste all kinds of breads. Further when warm bread comes out of oven, satisfaction which I get is not easy to put in words. Because of this, my poor hubby has to taste all kinds of bread, whether likes or not. He is good taste tester though and gives frank opinion. I used the recipe from the book The bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart I like his book, it is straight forward one, no confusion, and easy to follow. I want to taste the original bread, and hence strictly followed the recipe. Result was chewy, tasty, dense bread. Mine was not dark as it was supposed to be, may be the molasses that I used is not giving the much color. If you like dense bread give it a try to this recipe.
What you need
Coarse cornmeal /polenta: 2/3 cup
Water: 2/3 cup at room temperature
Unbleached bread flour: 3 cups ( I used King Arthur flour)
Salt: 1 1/4 teaspoons
Active dry yeast: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Molasses: 4 tablespoons
Water: 1 ½ cup luke warm ( 90 0 F to 100 0 F)
Shortening: 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon at room temperature.
Corn meal for dusting ( optional)
How I made
For soaker. Day before making the bread, in a small bowl mix the cornmeal and water Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight to initiate enzyme action.
On the day of bread baking : for dough
In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, stir together the 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, soaker and water. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and ferment for 1 hour, or until the sponge begins to double.
Add remaining 2 ½ cups of flour, the salt, molasses and shortening and stir or mix on low speed with paddle attachment until the ingredients form a ball. Add water if necessary to make soft, slightly sticky mass.
Change to dough hook and knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes in the electric mixer and then knead using hand for another 3 minutes to form a firm, supple and pliable non sticky dough. The dough should pass the window pane test and register 77 to 81 F. If you are kneading by hand it takes about 15 minutes of kneading.
Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment at room temperature it took about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl into slightly floured area and degas it and Shape the dough into loaf, and place them into lightly oiled loaf pan. Mist the top of the loaf with spray oil and loosely cover the tops with plastic wrap. Proof the dough at room temperature for 70 minutes, or until the loaf crest fully above the tops of the pans. (If you want to hold back any of loaf, place them in the refrigerator without proofing, where they will hold, or retard, for up to 2 days. Remove them from the refrigerator about 4 hours before baking and proof them at room temperature or until ready).
Pre heat the oven to 350F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the pans on a sheet pan and remove the plastic wrap. Mist the tops with spray of water and dust with corn meal
Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan for even baking and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until the loaf are golden brown, including along the sides and bottom and register at least 185 F to 190 F in the center and make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
when the loaf is finished baking, remove them immediately from the pan and cool on rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
This bread is going to This week’s Yeast spotting by Susan of Wild Yeast.
Also to Dish name starts with A by Akila of Learning to cook
Preparation time: soaker: over night, Dough: 16 minutes, First rise: 1 hour 45 minutes ; Second rise: 70 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
Will you make it again: Yes I will