|Anadama bread should be dark and sweet tasting|
Like many things New England, the origins of Anadama bread extend too far into our past to completely understand where and when it first appeared. Most articles seem to give credit to the Cape Ann area, and its fishing tradition, as the impetus for the creation of this sweet type of bread.
As the legend goes, there was once a Gloucester fisherman who worked long and hard, only to return to his wife named Anna, who could not cook to save her life. Now she must have been particularly horrible, because all she ever made for him was a cornmeal porridge, sweetened with molasses. Finally, after eating this slop every day, he grew frustrated and angry enough that he simply tossed some flour and yeast into the porridge mix and threw the whole thing into the oven, obviously hoping anything that resulted from the concoction would be better than what he already had. As he sat waiting for his creation to bake, he continually muttered, "Anna, damn her. Anna, damn her." Thus, the name was born.
I have about the same ability poor Anna had when it comes to my baking, but I found this recipe for Anadama bread from Yankee Magazine.
- Two packages of dried yeast
- ½ cup of lukewarm water
- 2/3 cup of molasses
- 2 cups of water or milk, or 1 cup of each
- 1 ½ tsp. of salt
- 2 Tbsp. of shortening
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 7 – 8 cups of flour
- Dissolve the yeast into lukewarm water and set aside
- In a large bowl combine the molasses, water or milk, shortening, cornmeal, salt, and 3 cups of flour.
- Add the yeast and mix until you have a smooth dough.
- Continue to add the flour until the dough is stiff and no longer sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Estimated time is 10 minutes.
- place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to grease the top, then cover it and allow it to rise until double the bulk. Estimated time 1 ½ hours.
- Gently punch he dough down, then let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape the dough into 3 loaves, then place then into 3 greased 9x5 loaf pans.
- Let the rise until just about doubled, then bake at 350 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes.
- Invert loaves to cool onto a wire rack.
Although I have had Anadama bread and liked it, I have never actually attempted to bake it. If you try, I hope you enjoy it. Just typing this makes me hungry for the upcoming meal. Plus, the Tofurkey is done. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!