Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Anadama Bread...is it as fun to eat as it is to say?

Dear Readers,

First and foremost, HAPPY 2011!  I hope your holidays were fantastic.  Mine certainly were.

Now, onto the next order of business:  Please don't abandon Sar and I, although we understand if you feel as if we've abandoned you.  You see, work has picked up for both Sarita and I and we've been dining on our frozen loaves.  Those frozen loaves are now gone and it's time to get serious about bread baking...and blogging.  

I got home from work this evening and thought - I'm going to make Anadama bread.  This bread supposedly originated in Massachusetts and the name is derived from a farmers' exclamation to his wife: "Anna! Damn 'er!"  I'm telling you that story from memory and can't recall why the farmer was so upset with his wife, but I doubt it was because she was making him delicious loaves of slightly sweetened bread.

I've been seeing this type of bread pop up on TasteSpotting and other food blogs that I follow, and today is the day The Upper Yeast Side joins the fun.  I used the recipe posted by Margaret Polaneczky at The Blog That Ate Manhattan back in 2008 (recipe link here).  I picked this recipe to use since I have a thing for supporting fellow bloggers AND it calls for honey in place of molasses.  I absolutely adore molasses...probably more than most people....but Sar and I have about a half-gallon of honey to use and there's only so much honey you can add to tea, PB sandwiches, and pour over biscuits.  *Actually, I could probably finish that honey by myself by pouring it over biscuits...but that is no way to trim down after all of the Hannukah/Christmas/New Years/Birthday indulging I've recently been involved in.*

This bread was pretty fun to make - it has a stovetop element, which makes it feel like you're cooking...not just baking.   The cornmeal gets boiled along with water, honey, and butter.  This makes something pretty similar to grits, as I understand them...and the resulting porridge is DELISH.  I admit to eating a spoonful or two.

Once you've cooled the porridge to luke-warm, you mix in proofed yeast, salt, and the flour (whole wheat and all-purpose).  Knead, knead knead, and then rise the dough 'til doubled.  Once it's doubled, you knead a bit more, split it in half, and plop it into two bread pans.  Let it rise again until doubled once more and it's time to bake.

I rose my dough in front of my little space heater to ensure that it didn't take a year-and-a-half to double in our wintry apartment.  It looked so cute all tucked in during the second rise that I just had to snap a picture:

They rose beautifully before going into the oven:

...Not so much rising happened in the oven, but I assure you, the bread is delicious anyway.  I tasted the first slice with some butter and it was magical.

Anadama bobana bananafana fofama me mi momamma...anadama!

Speaking of bananas - we have 4 frozen in the freezer (imagine, frozen things in the freezer!!?).  Banana goodies up next?  Yep, I'd say that's a fair guess.

- Lil

PS - today Sar and I laid our herbs to rest in the 2nd floor compactor of our building.  It wasn't easy, but the herbs were dead - had been dead for a while - and our lettuce leaves were recently eaten by mice (*#!%in' mice...).  The basil lived a long life of climbing tall and producing few to no leaves...apparently it was starved for sunlight.  South-facing windows were not enough for that guy.   

The oregano once was so strong and healthy that it looked as if it might grow over our entire apartment and choke me in the night.  It promptly died of unknown causes.  I never really liked oregano, though, so I don't think I'll miss it too much.  I'm innocent - I swear.


  1. Nice loaf! Glad to see you like Anadama bread as much as we do.

    Great blog too - adore the name! Will link.


  2. Love the bread - my mommy loved Anadama too. keep up the good baking!