Anadama Bread – Molasses Bread is a traditional bread from New England. It is a dense, darkly flavoured bread that sometimes has some rye flour as well. But for my bread I don’t use rye flour. I actually checked several recipes for the bread and watched some video too. Most recipes were similar to each other. But I opted to use one from King Arthur Baking as the basis for my bread.
The recipe is actually quite easy to make, though it takes time as the dough has to proof before, and after, shaping. The dough should be stiff and smooth, but slightly sticky. It is very easy to make in a stand mixer but can be done by hand too.
Molasses, that lovely thick and darkly flavourful syrup gives the bread a distinct flavour. Black treacle works just as well as molasses.
The bread is, I understand, often eaten with soup or stews. The dark flavour and dense texture would, I imagine, go very well with either such dishes.
My dough felt so good in the hand and it rose well during the first proof. It was very malleable as I gently deflated it and shaped it for my 2lb/900g loaf pan. Then it rose nicely again before baking.
I baked the bread for 35 minutes and tested the temperature, and then allowed it to cool before slicing. The loaf rose in the oven and sliced very well. The texture was dense as you would expect with the inclusion of cornmeal and molasses.
I tasted mine with some butter spread on a slice. It had a rich flavour, which I found slightly savoury rather than sweet. I enjoyed it immensely and later had more as an open sandwich with just some cheese and Branston pickle, which was just perfect.
Another molasses based bread is Boston Brown Bread
Anadama Bread – Molasses BreadCourse: BreadCuisine: New England USADifficulty: Medium
113g(3/4 cpu minus 1/2 tbsp) cornmeal
42g(3 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
85g(1/4 cup) molasses
250ml(1 cup + 2 tsp) boiling water
28g(1/4 cup) powdered milk
240g(1 2/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour
113g(3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) wholemeal flour
8g(1 1/4 tsp) salt
7g(2 1/4 tsp – 1 packet) instant yeast
- Lightly grease a 2lb/900g loaf pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer(you can do it all by hand too) place the cornmeal and salt and mix to combine.
- Add the butter, molasses and boiling water(depending on humidity you may not need all the water, so hold back 1 tbsp and add later if needed).
- Stir or mix together until the butter has melted and everything is nicely combined.
- Mixing on a low speed add the flour, gradually, until you have a shaggy dough.
- Leave the mixture to rest for 20 minutes.
- Knead the dough on a medium speed, for about 7 minutes, until it has become smooth and stiff and still slightly sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and then place it back in the bowl and cover it, leaving it to proof for about an hour.
- Place the dough onto a work surface and gently flatten it into a rectangle about 8 inches/20cm wide, releasing the gases.
- Roll the dough into a log 8 inches/20cm long and place it into the prepared pan pressing it down to level it.
- Cover the loaf pan with greased plastic wrap, or a clean towel, and leave it to proof until it has risen about 1 inch above the top edge of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it has risen and the internal temperature has reached at least 88C/190F.
- Remove the bread from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.