The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anadama question

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strattor's picture
strattor

Anadama question

This morning I baked Anadama bread from the recipe in "Beard on Bread". I made the dough last night, and allowed it to retard overnight in the fridge. I was surprised, however, at how stiff the dough was. It was just slighlty softer than a rock. In a climate where I always have to add a little flour to compensate for the humidity, I had to add quite a bit of water to soften it up.

 

So my question: is this the typical consistency for this type of bread? It ended up rising and baking okay, though it was a little dense. Any opinions would be much appreciated. 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Strattor,

The Anadama breads that I have made previously were usually fairly hefty loaves; even those that I handled correctly.  There have been occasions where the rise seemed to stall out after shaping into loaves--maybe it was the cornmeal.  Maybe I was too impatient and should have given them more time.  They certainly didn't get any bigger or lighter as they baked!

I haven't attempted a retard during fermentation with Anadama, so I can't speak to that.  There is enough flavor from the ingredients that I wouldn't expect to the retard to make a noticeable difference in the finished bread's flavor.  Glad to hear that they turned out well

Gotta go flip some English Muffins that are on the griddle.

PMcCool

Floydm's picture
Floydm

The only Anadama recipe I've baked is Peter Reinhart's from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  His isn't terribly heavy, but I'm not sure how authentic it is.  That recipe is suspiciously similar in feel to his Struan Bread recipe.  It tastes great though.

strattor's picture
strattor

I took a look at the BBA Anadama recipe to compare with Beard's, and based on pictures alone, the BBA looks much lighter in both color and texture. Maybe I'll give that one a shot next time and report my findings.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've made both the BBA's Anadama and Laurel's Kitchen (which is whole wheat). Both were delicious. The BBA was definitely the lighter loaf, but neither was a particularly high riser. They were a fine size for sandwiches, but they didn't rise nearly as high as, say, the Laurel's Kitchen Buttermilk bread, for instance.

 

kimn's picture
kimn

One of the best recipes for Anadama Bread that I have made is from Mel London's book.  Darker coloring than BBA.  Excellent plain.   

7 C. unbleached white flour

1 1/2 C. cornmeal

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 C. softened butter

2 pkg. dry yeast

2 1/4 C. warm water

2/3 C. molasses

Mix 2 1/2 C. flour, cornmeal, salt, butter, and yeast together. Slowly add water and molasses.  Add enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.  Knead for ~10 minutes.  Place in greased bowl and let rise until double in bulk, 45 mins to 1 hour.  Divide dough in half.  Shape and place into greased pans.  Cover and allow to rise until double in bulk.  Bake at 375 F for ~45 mins.  

 

 

Loafer's picture
Loafer

I have made both the Laurel's and James Beards versions of Anadama.  It is a very dense type of loaf, but shouldn't be a "rock" from either recipe.  Have you tried a second time from the same recipe?  Maybe you forgot something?  You did cook the cornmeal as directed?  Hmmm... the anadama loaves should rise to a good hearty height.  Keep at it, it is a great bread and well worth learning.

 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've made a few more loaves of anadama bread, and I think the key is to use coarse cornmeal, which is often labled in the grocery store as polenta. I've found that I have to cook it a bit with boiling water before baking, otherwise it's pretty darned crunchy and unappetizing. But, well made, it's fairly light. I think the smaller the grains, the more the corn interferes with good gluten development. Every time I use regular cornmeal, I get a brick.

 

 

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

I've got some bulk fermenting right now. I used coarse meal and soaked it, per BBA recipe which I am following for now. I shall let you know how it turns out.

cognitivefun's picture
cognitivefun

Mine came out very fluffy and wonderful. So I will make it again sometime. The flour was quite coarse and is a bit gritty. Perhaps next time I might try cooking it and see what happens. But it is great and not the least bit dense.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Here is a photo from the last time I baked Anadama: 

I left the dough a bit too wet, so I didn't get as good a rise as I should have, but it still tasted great.

 I used the BBA recipe, which isn't substantially different than the one posted above. 

 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Last weeks bake..it was very good! Great gentle crunch of the polenta and crust..very appealing texture. It you aren't a fan of molasses, cut it back a bit..but we love it!  Good stuff!