Before I begin extolling the virtues of baking Anadama bread, I want to thank some of my fellow bloggers. Isobel Morrell (Coldham Cuddlies Calling) – my wonderful email pal from England – gave Dough, Dirt & Dye a Versatile Blogger Award a few days ago. And Trish at one my favorite blogs, In Fine Balance, passed along a Versatile Blogger Award to me here at AURV. By the way, one of Trish’s posts, “Red Light, Green Light, Go,” made it into Healthy Living Daily Buzz Top 9 – congratulations, Trish! Last but not least, I just heard from Natalie at Insatiably (great name, no?) whose blog I’ve been enjoying a lot – that she’d given AURV a Versatile Blogger Award, too. Holy TVP! I need to get a bigger mantelpiece! Thank you, ladies. Since I dedicated a post on Dough, Dirt & Dye to a previously won Versatile Blogger Award, I’m going to use the March edition of “A Carnival of Vegans” to point to several really great blogs.
Okay. Anadama bread recipes – I swear – appear in just about every cookbook I own. And until recently, I’ve never made it. Not sure what it was about it that didn’t interest me, but I got over it and finally broke down and tried it. I figured I’d dislike it and then with clear conscience I could avoid the recipe for the remainder of my time on this earth. Well…the thing is…I liked it. I liked it a lot. The cornmeal doesn’t overpower, the molasses isn’t cloying and the bread is hearty without being heavy. The crumb is wonderful and it works with both sweet jam and tempeh bacon. Even better, this is a no-knead recipe which means I can stir it together and bake it when I need it. So, take my advice. Don’t avoid making Anadama bread.
Makes 2 large loaves
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup molasses
In a large lidded container, mix the cornmeal, wheat germ, flours, salt and vital wheat gluten. Combine the water and molasses and then mix into the dry ingredients. You may need to use wet hands to get all of the dry bits incorporated. Cover loosely and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. The dough will rise and then fall a bit. Cover completely and put into the refrigerator overnight or for up to 7 days. You can use the mixture immediately after the two hour rise, but it will be more difficult to handle the dough.
When baking day comes, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. While the dough is still in the container dust the surface lightly with flour and divide the dough in half. Return one half to the refrigerator to use later. Quickly shape the dough into a ball, using flour as needed and place the ball on the parchment paper. Cover loosely with a clean (not terrycloth) towel and let rest for 90 minutes.
About 30 minutes before the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 450F.
Lightly spritz the dough with water and quickly make a couple of slashes in the top of the dough. Slide the baking pan into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. The loaf should be dark brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. For the last 10 minutes or so of baking, I usually remove the loaf from the pan and place it directly on the oven rack so that the bottom has a chance to brown and crisp up. Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
(This recipe is from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois.)