Sunday, March 1, 2015

Anadama Bread

March has come in rather wet for us, however, there is still some snow covering from our storm earlier this week and baking bread just seems like the right thing to do.  Anadama bread is one of my favorites that my mother and I would bake...and my father would eat!  The anniversary of his passing was the 24th; it's been 20 years and I still miss his sense of humor, loving nature, and the person who convinced me that mathematics would always be a part of my life.
Me and my Dad  
Anadama bread is a rustic dough made, not only with flour, but with cornmeal, molasses, and this recipe that I adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, lots of seeds.  There are many legends where this bread originated from; Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts claim it as their own, but many think it originated in Europe.  However, the story my Mother told me was, "a husband, who came home every day from working in the fields, was met with the cornmeal mush his wife Anna made.  One day he came home and Anna had left him, only to leave a bowl of the mush behind. He mixed flour and yeast with the mush and threw it in the oven, exclaiming Anna, damn her!"  This was such a favorite in our home that my mother and I made it for my wedding reception, which was very much enjoyed by my new husband as well.

My three "Culinary Cats" look on while I begin the baking process...
Harper, Clara, and Zuzu on the stool:-D
Anadama Bread
1/2 cup very warm water + more for the dough
1 T (or pkg.) of active dry yeast
1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Mix the ingredients together and allow to "proof" for about 7 to 10 minutes to ensure the yeast is active--it should get foamy.

2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (plain flour)
1 cup fine ground cornmeal
1 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt (I used Baking Salt)
1/4 cup mild molasses
2 T soften butter
2 T Golden Flax meal
2 T  Black Sesame Seeds
2 tsp. White Sesame Seeds (or Hemp Seeds
2 T. Flax seeds
2 tsp. Poppy seeds

In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, mix all the ingredients together.  Add the proofed yeast and about another 1/2 cup of water, adding the water slowly just until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a bread board and knead until smooth.  Place dough, right side down into a large, buttered bowl, then, turn right-side-up.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour.  Remove the dough after the rising and form into a loaf (8" x 4" x 4").  Place into the buttered loaf pan and allow to rise another 45 minutes.

Just before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375F-degrees.  Place the dough into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 180F-degrees internally.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit on a rack for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.
The texture is wonderful and the taste brings back some fond memories on this wet, cold day.  Miss you Dad.  Enjoy!


  1. What a sweet post. I have never heard of this bread before. Is is sweet being that is has the molasses. Looks like lots of great seeds.

  2. Such a great story to go with this recipe, Susan. Sounds and looks delicious.
    Love the photo of you and your father! xo ♥

  3. THat looks wonderful. I may get out my dough hook and try it.
    It has been over 22 years now since I lost my Dad and I still think of him all the time. Hugs!

  4. It is a wonderful bread. I have never heard of this version before, though it sure looks delicious. Our family has a twenty-year anniversary coming up...doesn't seem possible.

  5. The add of cornmeal must have given this rustic bread some extra flavour and crunch! It's beautiful bread, Susan.

  6. what a good story to go along with the bread recipe.
    stamping sue

  7. Oh, that's a great story. Wonder if it's true. I like this kind of bread, too. Yum yum yum I can just smell it coming out of the oven. Mmm mmm mmm Susan p.s. So good to see your post!

  8. My mother baked Anadama bread but without all the seeds you have included. We all loved it toasted. Thanks for the memory! I just might bake a loaf this weekend.