Saturday, February 9, 2013

Anadama Bread

When life gives lemons you make lemonade and when life gives you a snow storm you make bread. The making of bread during and after a snow storm is good on so many levels. It keeps you occupied, warms up the house and most important, provides you with fresh bread which further keeps you occupied and warms you up.

Finding Nemo on my doorstep this morning (we just got the tail end of this and it really wasn't that bad here) I, of course, just had to make bread. It doesn't hurt that it's Saturday and that's when I feed the sour dough starter so I had an extra cup to add to the mix. This recipe is straight out of Beard on Bread with just a few alterations. I love the picture of James on the back dust cover showing him holding what looks like a giant paleolithic rock fossil but is actually a loaf of rustic bread.

If you've never make Anadama bread, here's your chance to get to it. Beard's recipe calls for white flour but I used white whole wheat flour so the crumb is tight and the texture is chewy. The recipe also has corn meal (I used corn flour this time) and molasses, transforming what is basically a white bread into something richer, better, darker. Its over the top toasted with butter and jam, out of this world when used for French toast and turns your favorite sandwich into a special occasion. Are you making this already?

anadama bread

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon raw sugar
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup sour dough starter
1/2 cup corn flour
3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour 

Stir the yeast and sugar into 1/4 cup of warm water and let proof for 5 minutes. Heat the rest of the water, butter, molasses and salt in a pot just until warm. Add the proofed yeast, molasses mixture, sour dough starter  and corn flour to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine. Add the flour a little at a time until a sticky dough forms. 

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and in Beards' words "springy". Form dough into a ball and put into a buttered bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean towel and leave in a warm, draft free spot to double in size. Mine took about 2 hours. 

Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf, tuck into a buttered and floured (again I used corn flour)  8 1/2 by 4 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Once the loaf  has risen, preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for ten minutes then lower to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 35 minutes more. When done the loaf will make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan.

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