Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kitchen Diary 2012 – Anadama Bread

A fisherman, angry with his wife, Anna, for serving him nothing but cornmeal and molasses, one day adds flour and yeast to his porridge and eats the resultant bread, while cursing, "Anna, damn her."

Hee! The story has a swear in it!

We’ve lifted this recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated website: it makes one loaf, which keeps well for up to a week and we’re sure to make it again to see if it can be used for sandwiches. So far we’ve only had it toasted, with butter.

- 1/2cup water
- 1/4cup cornmeal
- 3 1/4cups bread flour , plus extra for work surface
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 3/4 cup milk , warm (110 degrees)
- 1/3cup water , warm (110 degrees)
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 3tablespoons molasses
- 1package rapid-rise yeast (also called instant yeast)

- Pour ½ cup of boiling water over the cornmeal – stir until the cornmeal has absorbed the water. Set aside.

- Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Once oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain heat 10 minutes, and turn off the oven.

- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook: add cornmeal mixture, flour,

- Mix milk, warm water, butter, molasses, and yeast in 1-quart Pyrex liquid measuring cup.

- Turn machine to low and slowly add liquid. When dough comes together, increase speed to medium (setting number 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix until dough is smooth and satiny, stopping machine to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes.

- Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

- Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

- Form dough into loaf by gently pressing the dough into a rectangle, one inch thick and no wider than the length of the loaf pan. Next, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn dough seam side up and pinch it closed. Place dough in greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and press gently so dough touches all four sides of pan.

- Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in warm spot until dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing empty loaf pan on bottom rack.

- Bring 2 cups water to boil.

- Remove plastic wrap from loaf pan. Place pan in oven, immediately pouring heated water into empty loaf pan; close oven door.

- Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted at angle from short end just above pan rim into center of loaf reads 195 degrees, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove bread from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature.

The part that hurts the most is this: you must wait until the loaf has cooled before slicing into it.

Addendum: According to another story, the Anna in question had the following on her tombstone: "Anna was a lovely bride, but Anna, damn 'er, up and died."

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