February 18, 2009

Anadama Bread

The Eating Well New Favorites Cookbook

I hadn't made this bread in a long time, but it's one of our favorite homemade breads. The molasses makes the bread moist and just a little bit sweet. It's good with chicken salad or all by itself.

1/4 C cornmeal
1/4 C unsulfured molasses
3 C flour
1 package (2 1/4 t) yeast
1 1/2 t salt
1 egg white beaten with 2 t water for glaze

In a saucepan, bring 1 1/3 C water to a boil. Pour into a large glass measuring cup and stir in cornmeal and molasses. Let stand for 5 minutes or longer to soften cornmeal and to cool the liquid to between 105 and 115 degrees.

In a food processor, combine flour, yeast, and salt. Pulse to mix. With the motor running, gradually pour the cornmeal mixture through the feed tube until a ball forms. Process for about 45 seconds to "knead" the dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover loosely with oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a baking sheet, then dust with cornmeal, shaking off excess. Punch down the dough and form into a round loaf. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap again and let rise until doubled in bulk, 40 - 45 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 425. Just before baking, place a shallow pan of hot water on the lowest rack in the oven.

Brush the risen loaf lightly with egg-white glaze, making sure not to let it drip onto the pan. Use a sharp knife to make 2 slashes, 1/2-inch deep, in a criss-cross pattern on top.

Bake for 10 minutes. Brush again with egg-white glaze and rotate pan 180 degrees. Lower oven temperature to 400 and bake for 10 - 15 minutes more or until loaf is golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer loaf to a rack to cool.

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