The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anadama Bread

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

Anadama Bread

In my quest to make better bread I have gathered information from almost any resource.  Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice has become a go-to book when I want to bake.  One day I was perusing random websites and I happened upon a blog called "Pinch My Salt".  This blog included a number of amateur bakers making each recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice in order.  I thought this might be a cheaper alternative to making beer considering I do not currently have the funds.


Yesterday afternoon I mixed together the cornmeal and water and let it sit out overnight.  The bowl on the bottom of the picture is about 2 cups of flour, the cornmeal mixture, and yeast.  The other two bowls are pizza dough and a poolish.



I let the soaker/sponge sit out for a couple hours until it was gurgling CO2 at me.  I mixed the sponge with the remaining 2.5 cups flour, 1.5 tsp salt, 1oz shortening and 4oz of molasses .  When I stirred everything together it still seemed too wet, so I mixed in some more flour during the kneading.  the dough was lightly oiled in a bowl and set to ferment for a few hours.  I removed the dough, knocked it down, and formed a couple boules.



I didn't want to make sandwich loaves because I really like free form loaves and the shape of boules.  The final proofing lasted for about an hour before taking them to be scored and baked.  The loaves scored nicely but I lack a peel, as a result I accidently deflated some of the loaf during transfer to the oven.  Thankfully I had a decent amount of oven spring.  





The loaves turned out fine, I can only imagine how they would have looked if I hadn't deflated them, I guess it's time to look into making a peel.  I look forward to the next stage in the BBA challenge and as always look for improvement.


 


Cheers and Happy Baking


 


-Matthew

Comments

cpanza's picture
cpanza

Matt -


Nice Anadama boule!


Hey, we started the BBA Challenge 2011 a few weeks ago over at my blog here:


www.akuindeed.com


If you are interested in joining up, please do. We are just a few weeks ahead of you at this point. There are 12 of us at the moment, and we're learning a lot from one another.


Chris

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I'd be happy to join up, I haven't made Greek Celebration Bread before, but I have made bagels.  Therefore, I think I will start with GCB and skip the bagels.  I'll try and catch up with the group by next weekend if I can get a few bakes in during the week/weekend.


 


-M

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Lovely.  I've never made Amadama boules.  They look great.

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I already had sandwich loaves from a previous bake so i decided to change things up.  Too bad my chocolate lab was a little thief and stole the remainder of the loaf off the cutting board earlier tonight!

wally's picture
wally

BTW - you can always use a baking/cookie sheet dusted with some semolina flour or coarse cornmeal as a peel.


Larry

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I'm trying to find a suitable substitute for a peel, I'm forced to be thrifty at the moment so I may use a cookie sheet next time.

mkzim's picture
mkzim

I've made BBA's Anadama bread a few times (including last night), and am really happy with the taste.  The only problem I have is that when the loaves reach 190 degrees, the crust is golden brown (as expected), but is really, really soft.  The crusts in the boules above look much better.  Is there anything I can do to get a thicker / sturdier crust?  Less liquid in the dough?  baking at a higher temperature?  continuing to cook after the bread reaches 190?

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

Developing a truly great crust is one of those arduous tasks which takes practice and patience, for instance, the crust on my ciabatta is still a work in progress.  In order to get a good crust steam must be present in the oven, which is a challenge for conventional home ovens.  Search the forums on this site and you will find many ways to incorporate steam in your oven, from using lava rocks, cast iron skillets, misting oven walls, and water logged towels placed in bread pans, the latter of which I find produces the greatest amount of steam.  Just as important as steaming your loaves is cooling them.  I tend to let my loaves rest in the oven after they have finished baking for about 5 minutes with the door propped open and oven off. The loaves are then sent to a cooling rack with plenty of air flow (important) and allowed to cool between 45 minutes and an hour.  The percent hydration will have an impact on your crust but I can not speak specifically on the matter.  I hope this helps and good luck.


 


-M

mkzim's picture
mkzim

Thanks for the advice.  I actually make a lot of both artisan-type and sandwich loaves, and I'm used to sandwich loaves having softer crusts.  For some reason, this bread in particular always has a PARTICULARLY soft crust by the time the crumb reaches 190 degrees.  It's golden brown, but is hard to actually cut and slice after cooling because it's so soft.  I'm not sure what to do to fix that.