This is definitely a New England recipe. Anadama bread is one of the most popular breads here, and for good reason—it's absolutely delicious. Try smearing a mixture of butter and local honey on it and, you'll be hooked. This is my friend and mentor chef Jasper White's recipe, Jasper uses a bit more corn meal and less molasses than most recipes, so it serves dual roles as a breakfast bread or alongside hearty chowders.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 2 loaves
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups (approx.) warm water (105-115 degrees), divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for work surface
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Vegetable oil or butter
1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)
In a medium-size bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer with hook attachment), combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water; mix well. Add melted butter, molasses, salt, flour, and cornmeal. Slowly add up to 1 cup more warm water; mix to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more water if necessary. Knead by machine about 10 minutes, or by hand about 15 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Oil (or butter) a large bowl lightly. Shape dough into a ball and place in the bowl; turn it once so it's lightly greased all over. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Let dough rise until volume doubles, about 1 hour.
Grease two 9-1/2x5-inch loaf pans. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf in a pan, return to a warm spot, and let rise until volume doubles, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash and bake 1 hour, or until deep golden brown. To test for doneness, remove one hot loaf from its pan and tap the bottom of the bread; you'll hear a hollow sound if it's done. If it's not done, return it to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. When loaves are done, turn them out of their pans and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.
(Adapted from 50 Chowders: One-Pot Meals—Clam, Corn & Beyond by Jasper White)
Melissa commented on 06.02.11
Hi, You should really check out my book "The Legacy of Three Melissas" which includes the authentic history and recipe for Anadama Bread from Rockport, Ma. My family ran the Anadama Bread Bakery in Rockport from the 1930'-1970's. I have included lots of photos of the original packaging, opening of 1956 Bakery, and things to do with Anadama Bread in the book as well as recipes and history from my families Bed and Breakfast, Inns, and Restaurants run on Cape Ann over a 70 year period. Your recipe above leaves a lot to be desired for those interested in the authentic taste. Altho, I am sure it is very good and tasty to attain the origianl flavor one must use at least 1/2 c. dark organic blackstrap molasses and use a double boiler to steam the cornmeal with the molasses. I go in to great detail as to why historically this is so :) My book is available on Amazon.com but also on my website http://www.anadamabreadbook.com . I thought you might like to update your Anadama knowledge :) Kind Regards, Melissa Smith Abbott - grand daughter of Bill & Melissa Smith