Our Recipe of the Week gets lots of attention and we hope you have been trying some of them. So far, we’ve been publishing warmer weather recipes – quick, easy, make ahead and keep the kitchen cool.
But seasons change. And in the fall, what is more heavenly than a kitchen filled with the aroma of pots of stew on the stove, and roasts, bread and pies in the oven?
So this week, we bring you something more challenging, but totally worth the effort. Anadama Bread originated in New England, when a farmer’s wife dressed up cornmeal mush with yeast, molasses, and flour, tossed it in the oven and filled her kitchen with the sweet scent of yeasty, nutty bread.
We first encountered it on trips to a B&B in Mad River, Vermont. My husband had co-authored five editions of a book – Modern Experimental Organic Chemistry – with Thom Gorman as his editor. Thom and his wife, Joan, eventually left publishing in New York and opened Waitsfield Inn in Vermont, with a small, highly acclaimed restaurant attached. We were regulars there. We woke up every morning to the Anadama Bread that Joan baked fresh every day, and finally got the recipe that Joan had adapted.
Here it is – try it warm out of the oven and simply spread with butter, or toasted the next day with butter and honey. Or for lunches as an outstanding bread for pork tenderloin or roast turkey sandwiches with arugula.
Makes 2 Loaves
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
1 package Dry Yeast
1/2 C molasses**
2 t salt
1 T butter
4 1/2 C white flour
Put the cornmeal in a large mixing bowl. Boil 2 cups water and pour over the cornmeal. Stir until smooth (no lumps). Let stand for 30 minutes. Stir the yeast into 1/2 cup warm water and let stand for 5 minutes to dissolve. Add the molasses, salt, butter, and dissolved yeast to the cornmeal mixture. Stir in the flour and beat thoroughly. Spoon into 2 buttered loaf pans, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until double in bulk. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Bake bread for 45-50 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.
**I use Grandma’s Original Molasses – a lighter, unsulfured brand of molasses that gives the bread a sweeter, moist flavor. Blackstrap Molasses is darker, and has a slightly bitter, more robust flavor – you can try both and see which you prefer.