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Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread

We like this textured, molasses-tinged loaf with a mix of seeds, but you can simplify by using a larger amount of just a couple of them.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more
  • 1 ¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • 1 cup stone-ground medium cornmeal
  • ¼ cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds or white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons golden flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons brown flaxseed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • Salted butter (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly butter an 8x4” loaf pan and line with parchment paper, leaving generous overhang. Place yeast in a medium bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and add 1 cup warm water; stir to dissolve yeast. Add cornmeal, molasses, hemp seeds, nigella seeds, golden and brown flaxseed, poppy seeds, salt, 2 cups flour, and 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter. Using a wooden spoon (or dough hook if using stand mixer), mix until no dry spots remain.

  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 10–15 minutes (alternatively, mix in stand mixer on medium speed 8–10 minutes). Lightly butter a medium bowl. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Punch down dough to deflate; cover. Let rise again until about doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into an 8x4” rectangle. Starting at the short side farthest from you, roll up dough, pinching the seam as you go, to create a tight roll. Pinch seam to close; tuck ends under and pinch to seal. Place seam side down in prepared pan and cover with plastic. Let dough rise until it crests the top of the pan and springs back slightly when pressed, about 1 hour.

  • Brush top of dough with egg. Bake, rotating halfway through, until bread is baked through and top is a deep golden brown, 45–50 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan on a wire rack before turning out. Let cool before slicing (if you can wait that long). Serve with salted butter.

  • Do Ahead: Bread can be made 5 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

,Photos by Michael Graydon Nikole Herriott

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 260 Fat (g) 7 Saturated Fat (g) 2.5 Cholesterol (mg) 30 Carbohydrates (g) 43 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 8 Protein (g) 7 Sodium (mg) 320Reviews Section

Anadama Bread

In a medium saucepan, heat the water with 3/4 cup of the milk just until lukewarm. Add the cornmeal and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, just until small bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, molasses and salt transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the sugar until lukewarm. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir the yeast mixture into the cornmeal. Stir in 6 1/2 cups of the flour, until a stiff dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as needed. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly buttered bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Lightly butter two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Form each half into a loaf and place in the prepared pans. Dust the tops lightly with flour, cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the loaves for 50 minutes, or until the tops are brown carefully turn out onto a rack. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom if they don't, return to the pans and bake a few minutes more. Cool completely before slicing.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. In a medium saucepan, combine water and cornmeal. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in molasses, shortening, and salt. Cool just until warm (115 degree F to 120 degree F).

Add molasses mixture to flour mixture add eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly grease two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Shape each dough portion into a loaf. Place in pans. Cover let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).

Brush with butter. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped, covering loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of baking. Immediately remove from pans. Cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.

Anadama Bread

Dissolve yeast and maple syrup in warm water in a large bowl let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, cornmeal, and next 2 ingredients beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended. Stir in 3/4 cup flour to form a soft dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes) add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, and roll into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up tightly, starting at short side, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets pinch seam and ends to seal. Place roll, seam side down, in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Combine 2 teaspoons water and egg white, and gently brush over dough. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan let cool on a wire rack.

Anadama Bread

Now that I live in New England again, after twenty-two years in California, I felt duty bound to revisit one of the great New England breads, anadama, and to come up with a definitive version. There are conflicting stories of the origin of the name. Judith and Evan Jones, in their wonderful The Book of Bread, tell the story of a Rockport, Massachusetts, man who was upset with his wife not only for leaving him, but also for leaving behind only a pot of cornmeal mush and some molasses. The angry husband tossed the mush and molasses together with some yeast and flour and muttered, “Anna, damn ’er!” This was later amended by the more genteel local Yankees, as they retold the story, to anadama. Sounds likely to me. Traditional formulas for this bread are usually given as a direct-dough method, but this version utilizes a soaker and a sponge to evoke more flavor from the grain. Corn is chock-full of natural sugars, trapped in the complex carbohydrate starch base, so any trick we can employ to break the sugars free can only improve the already wonderful flavor.

1 oz Dry Yeast
4 oz Sugar
5 cups Warm Water
4 oz Cabot Vermont Butter
8 oz Groeb Molasses
2 oz Salt
1 pound Yellow Cornmeal
4.5 pounds Sir Lancelot Bread Flour

Dissolve the dry yeast on ¼ cup of warm, not hot, water, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, and the rest of the water, and mix well. Heat the molasses, the butter, and the salt together, in a small saucepan, to lukewarm, and add to the yeast mixture. Add the cornmeal, and mix well. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with a spoon until it gets too thick for a spoon. When the flour is incorporated, turn onto a lightly floured board. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it becomes strong.

Cover the dough, and allow to sit for about an hour, depending on the temperature of the room. It will get about double in size. When this happens, punch the dough down, stretch it out a little, and roll it into a large ball. Let it rest a few minutes, and then cut into loaf sized pieces, or roll sized pieces.

Lightly grease either a 10” loaf pan, or 2 x 8”x4”x2” loaf pans. Place the dough pieces in the pans, and cover with a dry cloth. Allow to rise to where it is almost to the top of the pan.

This dough can also be made free form, without a bread pan.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the top of the breads for decoration, and brush with little bit of water.

Place the breads in the oven, and in 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350°. The breads will be done about 35 minutes after that. Test by picking up the pan with a cloth, and turning the bread out onto your hand. Tap it on the bottom and it’ll sound hollow, or go back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Allow to cool for at least an hour before you cut it. This bread will improve if you allow it to sit for a day or more after baking.

In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup warm water and yeast. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. In a large bowl, pour in boiling water. Add butter, cornmeal, molasses, sugar, and salt. Mix until the butter is completely melted. Allow to cool until warm. Mix in yeast solution. Begin mixing in flour, one cup at a time, until the dough is too thick to mix. Turn out on floured board and knead the dough, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth, not sticky.

Put the dough in a buttered bowl and turn it so that the top side of the dough is buttered. Cover and let rise until double in size, about an hour. Punch down dough. Turn out on floured board and knead dough for about 3 minutes. Roll dough into a large rectangle and roll it up to form a bread loaf. Pinch seams and tuck under ends. Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Butter one bread pan. Sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the pan and place loaf in pan. Cover and let rise until double in size or for about 30 minutes.

To make the bread top shiny, beat 1 egg white in a dish. Brush egg white onto top of bread. Using a sharp knife, make two or three slashes across the top of the loaf to prevent the crust from cracking. Bake bread at 375 F for about 45 minutes or until the bread is a lovely dark brown. Remove bread from pan and let cool on a rack.

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 pkg yeast or a tablespoonful
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons salt
tablespoon butter
4 1/2 cups flour

Put the cornmeal in a large bowl and add the boiling water. Stir until smooth ensure that there are no lumps. Let stand for a half hour.

Dissolve the yeast in a half cup of warm water. Add molasses, salt and dissolved yeast.

Stir in the flour and mix thoroughly spoon into buttered loaf pans and let rise until double.

Bake 45-50 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven. Cool on racks.

Submitted by: ross on February 23, 2011

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A couple questions…how much water is mixed with the cornmeal? And is the tbsp butter for buttering the pans?

The butter goes in with the salt and molasses. I missed that when I typed it. Sorry.

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  • ¼ cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 1 ⅓ cups boiling water
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 package RapidRise yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg white, mixed with 2 teaspoons water for glaze

Combine cornmeal and boiling water in a large glass measuring cup. Add molasses and let stand for 5 minutes or longer to soften the cornmeal and to cool the liquid until it is the temperature of a baby's bottle (105 to 115 degrees F).

Combine whole-wheat flour, bread (or all-purpose) flour, yeast and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix. With the motor running, gradually pour the cornmeal mixture through the feed tube until a ball forms. Process for about 45 seconds to "knead" the dough (it will be sticky). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Dust with cornmeal (or flour), shaking off excess. Punch down dough and form into a 7-inch-diameter round loaf. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap that has been coated with cooking spray and let rise until doubled in bulk, 40 to 45 minutes.

Set a rack in the center of the oven preheat to 425 degrees F. Just before baking, place a shallow pan of hot water on the lowest shelf in the oven.

Brush the risen loaf lightly with the egg-white mixture, taking care not to let it drip onto the pan. Use a sharp knife to make two slashes, 1/2 inch deep, in a crisscross pattern on top.

Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Brush again with the glaze and rotate pan 180 degrees (from front to back). Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.

Anadama Corn Bread

Pretty much every traditional American cookbook contains a recipe for this bread, a Native American-inspired loaf sweetened with molasses. This loaf spreads and bakes flatter than most corn breads.

Molasses is an unrefined sweetener that imparts much more flavor complexity than white sugar. There are bitter and caramel notes to savor, and it beautifully rounds out the rough edges in the whole wheat flour.

This recipe makes enough dough for four 1-pound loaves, and can be doubled or halved.

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 1&frasl4 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp (2 packets) granulated yeast
1 tbsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3 1/2cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup molasses

Whisk together the cornmeal, wheat germ, flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

Combine the water and molasses, and mix them with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a food processor (with dough attachment) or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You may need to get your hands wet to get the last bit of flour incorporated if you&rsquore not using a machine.

Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next week.

On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

Allow the loaf to rest for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you&rsquore using fresh, unrefrigerated dough), covered loosely with plastic wrap, on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can let the loaf rest on a silicone mat or greased cookie sheet.

Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on any other rack that won&rsquot interfere with the rising bread.

Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top crust with water. Using a serrated knife, slash the loaf with quarter-inch-deep parallel cuts.

Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone (or place the silicone mat or cookie sheet on the stone). Pour a cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes, until richly browned and firm. If you used parchment paper, a silicone mat or a cookie sheet under the loaf, carefully peel it off two-thirds of the way through baking. (Smaller or larger loaves will require some adjustments in resting and baking time.)

Allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing.

Visit to find instructional text, photographs, videos and a community of other five-minutes-a-day bakers. Our website is interactive we answer your questions ourselves. Happy baking, and enjoy all the bread!

Watch the video: Artisan Sourdough Bread Process from Start to Finish. Proof Bread (November 2021).