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Anadama Bread is so good. It has an amazing taste, the molasses and cornmeal make for a buttery sweet and nutty aroma while it bakes, which carries over into the flavour. Enjoy your Anadama bread warm from the oven, toasted with butter with your morning tea, or as a sweet alternative to your everyday sandwich bread.
There are several legends about how Anadama bread got its name, and there is no way to trace its origins with documented evidence, but there is no place for the truth where folklore is concerned.
The most popular story is about a New England fisherman who grew tired of eating the cornmeal and molasses mush made by his wife, Anna. It seems Anna was not blessed with talent in the kitchen, and after numerous bowls of molasses and cornmeal porridge for supper. One evening, after a long day of fishing, he came home and, in a fit of anger, went into the kitchen to make something different to eat. He angrily tossed in some flour and yeast to the mixture and threw it into the oven, and while eating his bread, in a fit of exasperation, he could be heard saying a not-so-loving tribute to his wife, mumbling, “Anna, damn her.” Fortunately, the bread was so delicious that his neighbours baked it, calling it Anadama Bread.
Another variation on this legend claims that Anna was actually very good at baking. When she died, her husband missed her bread so much, and he wrote this on her tombstone: “Anna was a lovely bride, but Anna damned her up and died!”
Another version: Anna was a sweetheart who made a special bread that included cornmeal and molasses that her husband took on long fishing trips. His crew loved it and crooned “Anna, d–n her” in an affectionate way as they wolfed it down with her freshly churned butter.
There are plenty more versions of the story, but I think we need to get to the recipe. It was just a thing that you may like.
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- 1/2 cups Water - Boiling
- 1/2 cup Cornmeal - yellow
- 3 tbsp Butter - room temperature or Margarine
- 2/3 cup Milk - lukewarm 27-32°C/80-90°F
- 1/3 cup Molasses
- 3 1/2 cups Bread flour
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 1/4 tsp Active dry yeast
- Place cornmeal into a mixing bowl. Carefully pour boiling water into it, stirring until it is smooth, making sure that the cornmeal does not lump.
- Let it cool for about 30 minutes until lukewarm (27-32°C/80-90°F).
- Attach the kneading blade in the Bread Maker pan.
- Then place in the bread pan and add the following ingredients.
- Place ingredients into the bread pan following the recipe order (or following the order and method specified in the manual of your Bread Maker – mine is: FIRST, liquid ingredients; SECOND, dry ingredients; LAST, yeast). Note: With a finger or a knife, make a small indentation in the middle of the flour. Add yeast to indentation, making sure it does not come into contact with the liquid ingredients.
- Carefully insert bread pan into Bread Maker and gently close the lid.
- Plug the power cord into a wall outlet. Select the “Sweet” bread setting. If available, choose crust colour (I usually set Medium, but if you prefer set Light or Dark) and loaf size (1.5LB) and Press the Start button.
- Caution: Do not use Delay Timer* for recipes with ingredients that can spoil like eggs or milk. More information at: "Using the Delay Timer".
- Open the lid and while using Oven Mitt, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine. CAUTION: The Bread Maker and pan may be very hot! Always handle with care.
- Use non-stick Spatula to gently loosen the sides of the bread from the pan.
- Turn the bread pan upside down onto a Wire Cooling Rack or clean cooking surface and gently shake until bread falls out onto the rack.
- Cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- To make perfect slices every time use a Bread Slicer.
- If it’s too dry, add lukewarm liquid a teaspoon at a time until it looks right.
- If it looks too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it looks right.
- If there is flour on the sides of the pan, use a Silicone Spatula to wipe the flour from the pan.
Weather can affect your ingredients If you live in a moist climate, chances are you’ll need at least the recommended amount of flour, maybe even 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more. Bread dough should be sticky, but still manageable, especially after the first rise. While you’re kneading, the dough should come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, leaving the bowl mostly clean. I usually aim to have the very bottom of the dough still attached to the bowl. Try not to add too much flour because your bread will be denser. When you pick the dough up, some will stick to your fingers. After the first rise, it will be easier to handle!
You may also make this bread without the aid of a bread machine, or make the dough in a bread machine, and bake it in the oven. Simply make the dough using your usual method (by hand, electric mixer or bread machine); allow it to rise until puffy, then shape it into a log; and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch (21.5 x 11.5 cm) bread pan. Allow the loaf to rise, covered, until it's crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan. If you want, brush the risen loaf with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle it with seeds. Bake it in a preheated 350°F/175°C oven for 35 minutes, or until its interior temperature registers 190°F/88°C on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven, remove it from the pan, and cool it on a wire rack.
How can you tell if the bread is fully baked? I like to use a food thermometer. Mine is digital, so it’s very easy to use. Fully cooked bread will be 190-200°F/88-93°C. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200°F/93°C, but without you can take it out once it reaches 190°F/88°C. The top will be golden brown.
- Everything You Need to Know to Start Baking Awesome Bread Using a Bread Maker
- Fast2eat Foolproof (Bread maker) Bread Recipes
* “Long-term dietary intake of gluten was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease. However, the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk. The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged.” (Source: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1892)
* Content and images based on Sunbeam CKSBBR9050-033 Bread Maker User Manual Retrieved from https://www.sunbeam.ca/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-sunbeam-ca-Library/default/dw500b4350/documents/instruction-manuals/CKSBBR9050-033.pdf
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