Anadama Bread Recipe from New England

Anadama Bread: An Unusual Bread Recipe

Anadama bread gets its color from molasses, which lends a slightly sweet flavor to this bread made from flour and cornmeal.
Anadama bread gets its color from molasses, which lends a slightly sweet flavor to this bread made from flour and cornmeal. | Source

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3.5 stars from 2 ratings of Anadama Bread Recipe

Anadama Bread: Traditional New England Bread Recipe

Legend has it that a fisherman in Massachusetts came home after a long day of work, to find a poor dinner of cornmeal and molasses prepared by his wife. Angry at the paltry meal, the fisherman added flour and yeast and baked it into a more substantial dinner - all the while yelling, "Anna, damn her!"

The resulting bread was loved by the neighbors, who started calling the bread loaf "Anadama." Anadama bread has been a part of Massachusetts State history from at least the year 1850, when the loaf was baked in Rockport. This yeast bread is slightly sweet and has a nice texture - it is delicious when served with stew on a cold day.

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours 45 min
Yields: Makes 1 loaf of Anadama bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water, heated to 110 degrees F.
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparing Anadama Bread Dough: Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cook cornmeal with 1/2 cup water until the mixture thickens.Add the molasses and butter to the cornmeal.In a small bowl, add warm water and yeast.Add the cornmeal/molasses mixture and the yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.Add the flour in increments, stirring to combine.
Cook cornmeal with 1/2 cup water until the mixture thickens.
Cook cornmeal with 1/2 cup water until the mixture thickens. | Source
Add the molasses and butter to the cornmeal.
Add the molasses and butter to the cornmeal. | Source
In a small bowl, add warm water and yeast.
In a small bowl, add warm water and yeast. | Source
Add the cornmeal/molasses mixture and the yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the cornmeal/molasses mixture and the yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. | Source
Add the flour in increments, stirring to combine.
Add the flour in increments, stirring to combine. | Source

How to Make Anadama Bread

  1. Add 1/2 cup water and the cornmeal to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the mixture reaches a boil and begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the butter and molasses to the mixture and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to cool until it is tepid.
  3. Add the 1/2 cup of warm water (about 110 degrees F) to a small bowl. Add the yeast to the warm water.
  4. Pour the cornmeal/molasses mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture to the cornmeal/molasses mixture and stir.
  5. Add 2 cups of flour and salt to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the remaining amount of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to combine. When the dough becomes thick, use your hands to work the remaining flour into the dough.
  7. Knead the dough for approximately 8 minutes. This breaks down the gluten and allows the bread to develop a soft texture.
  8. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to cover the dough ball in the oil (I use olive oil cooking spray to grease the bowl). Cover and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour until double in size. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. Cook in a 9 x 5" loaf pan, or form into a mound and cook on a pizza stone for an artisan loaf look. If you are making an artisan-style loaf, cut an "X" into the top of the bread with a sharp knife to keep the bread from cracking unevenly during cooking.
  10. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm location for about 40 minutes, or until double in size.
  11. Bake the bread for approximately 45 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the bread is golden brown in color and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf.

Working with Anadama Bread Dough

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Make sure to incorporate all the flour into the bread dough before kneading. Press the dough out with your hand.Fold the dough over, rotate by 90 degrees, and press the dough out again.Place the kneaded dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough so that the dough ball is covered in the oil (this prevents the covering towel from sticking to the dough ball). Punch down the risen dough ball.
Make sure to incorporate all the flour into the bread dough before kneading.
Make sure to incorporate all the flour into the bread dough before kneading. | Source
Press the dough out with your hand.
Press the dough out with your hand. | Source
Fold the dough over, rotate by 90 degrees, and press the dough out again.
Fold the dough over, rotate by 90 degrees, and press the dough out again. | Source
Place the kneaded dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough so that the dough ball is covered in the oil (this prevents the covering towel from sticking to the dough ball).
Place the kneaded dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough so that the dough ball is covered in the oil (this prevents the covering towel from sticking to the dough ball). | Source
Punch down the risen dough ball.
Punch down the risen dough ball. | Source

Working with Yeasted Bread Dough

Kneading bread dough is time consuming, but necessary to break down the gluten in the flour. By working the dough, the resulting loaf will be lighter and spongier - bread dough that is not kneaded long enough will not rise as well and will be tough. Use bread flour rather than all-purpose flour to yield a better loaf: bread flour (such as King Arthur's) has a higher gluten content, which creates lighter, springier bread.

To knead bread, push on the dough with one hand. Fold the dough over and turn it by 90 degrees. Push the dough out again, fold, and repeat. Continue this process for the proscribed amount of time.

Bread dough rises better in a warm (but not hot) location. I usually place my covered bowl in a warm location in the kitchen and cover the bowl with a terrycloth towel. After it has risen (to approximately double its original size), it must be "punched down." Punching down dough is simple - simply punch your fist through the dough ball to decompress it. This removes any large air bubbles that have formed in the dough.

Most bread recipes require two rising times - this Anadama bread recipe must rise again after it has been punched down. This time, it will rise in the loaf pan (or on the baking stone) - simply cover it with a kitchen towel and leave it in a warm location to rise again. Once this step is done, it is ready to bake.

Anadama Bread Loaf: Ready to Bake

This loaf has finished its second rise-time and is ready to bake.
This loaf has finished its second rise-time and is ready to bake. | Source

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Comments 20 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

I like to try new and different bread recipes. I will give this a try for sure. Working with the dough is just so soothing to me. I have just learned to make bread from scratch in the last few months. Always before it never turned out right.

I am excited to try your recipe. Good luck in the contest.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

I love the story behind the name of the bread; how interesting. Like you said, this bread looks like it would be really good to eat with stew for a nice hearty meal.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

I always had difficulty with yeast breads, too, pstraubie. I really started making them in the last year or so - the trick is to get the yeast at the right temp and to use fresh yeast (or the bread won't rise as well). I love making bread - the smell of freshly baked bread is amazing!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

ktrapp, it is a really great bread - hearty and goes wonderfully with chowder. You can make it in a traditional loaf pan or do an artisan-style loaf on a baking stone. The cornmeal gives it a great texture!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago

Very nice recipe. Wholesome and delicious plus great pics. Voted up for awesome.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Thank you, mecheshier! There is nothing better than homemade bread - it is so fresh and has no artificial ingredients!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

This sounds like a lovely bread recipe. All your photos are great. I also love the "Anna Damn Her" story. So hilarious!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

I sort of feel sorry for poor Anna, but I'm grateful for her laziness and the delicious bread recipe that ensued! Thanks for your comment, Om!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago

You are absolutely right leahlefler, there is is nothing better than the smell of warm bread in the air and the rewards once it is done.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

I am a huge bread lover, mechesier - to me, there is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Great recipe, and I loved the history on it. I come from MA, and I have never heard of it. I love baking my own breads, and I am definitely want to try this one. Thanks for sharing!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

It does have a fun back story - I'm not sure how true the story is (as it was probably made up long after the original bread), but it is fun in any case! It's a really nice bread, cloverleaffarm!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I love the smell of freshly baked bread. We used to make loaves of bread each week when we were first married. Your photos do make you want to bake a loaf and have it with some jam. Thanks for sharing.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

Enjoyed your story and really like the look of this Hub your delicious bread. Will try it in the autumn.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Oh, teaches12345, I absolutely love bread. I usually buy our sandwich bread from the store, but I do make bread on a regular occasion (I have to admit, the cinnamon rolls get made more frequently than anything else)!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

GoodLady - this bread would be PERFECT for autumn. I could see it paired with some warm apple cider on a cold day!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

I'm right there with on the smell of freshly baked bread. I will definitely have to give this a try the next time we have a hearty soup or stew. Great job!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Bread is pretty fun to make, Cara - though I have to admit, I prefer baking it in the fall or winter (and not the summer)!


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 4 years ago from Bangalore,India

Congrats leahlefler. Perfect pics, I almost smelt the bread in the oven.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Thanks, Purple Perl! There is nothing better than bread in the oven!

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