Monday, March 26, 2012

Anadama Bread

I was in a bread baking mood the other day and decided to use what I had on hand...this is the recipe I selected: Anadama Bread.  It's very hearty, not sweet, but makes for a solid sandwich bread or a great option to pair up with soup.  It was very easy to put together and came out well!

recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Makes 1 9 inch loaf
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours plus cooling

1 cup whole milk (I used skim and it worked fine)
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp stone ground cornmeal
1/2 cup water, warm
5 tbsp light or dark molasses
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat - had a nuttier flavor but good)
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant or rapid rise yeast
2 tsp salt

1. Bring the milk and 3 tbsp butter to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in 1/2 cup of the cornmeal and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, whisk in the water and molasses, and let cool until lukewarm (100 degrees F) about 10 minutes.

2. Mix 3 cups flour, yeast, salt, and cornmeal mixture together in a standing mixture with the dough hook.  Knead on low speed until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.

3. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  (If, after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.)

4. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball, about 1 minute.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and gently press it into a 9 inch square.  Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed.  Place the loaf seam side down in a 9 inch loaf pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size and the dough springs back slowly when indented with a finger, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

6. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees.  Bring a kettle of water to boil.  Melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter.  Brush the loaf with butter and sprinkle with remaining cornmeal.  Set the loaf pan on the rack and place an empty metal loaf pan next to it.  Fill the empty pan halfway with the boiling water.  Bake until golden and the center of the loaf reads 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 40 to 50 minutes.  Flip the bread out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing, about 2 hours. 

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