Sunday, May 17, 2009

anadama bread - bread baker's apprentice challenge is a go

This past week while surfing a bread feed, I stumbled across a bread baking adventure. It seems over at PinchMySalt, a bread baking idea was hatched. The key concept - work through the entire The Bread Baker's Apprentice cookbook by Peter Reinhart. I was instantly inspired as I've learned a ton from Peter, but the group of willing bakers had already grown to the 200 person cut off. Missing my chance to join in, I mentally decided that I will try and follow the same rules - a new bread recipe every week, and blog about my experiences on my own.

The first bread, which is to be finished by today, is called Anadama Bread. Peter talks about the bread being a 'great New England' bread with many versions and a conflicting story about the origin of it's name. The key in Peter's version is to soak the cornmeal the night before baking. With that said and only a few days to complete the task, I soaked my corn on Friday night and put everything into action on Saturday. The bread was so different from anything I've ever encountered. It is extremely soft (like baby bottom soft), moist and had the most delicious molasses and corn flavor. I've only made a roast beef sandwich so far, but it was magnificent. I'll definitely revisit this loaf in the future.

Anadama Bread
adapted from Bread Bakers Apprentice.

  1. Soak 3 ounces of cornmeal in 4 ounces of room temperature water (leave overnight)
  2. In the morning mix 5.1 ounces of AP flour, with 1 teaspoon of yeast, 4 ounces of water, along with the corn soaker. Let sit for one hour until bubbly.
  3. Add 5.1 ounces of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of molasses, and 1 tablespoon of room temperature unsalted batter. Mix to combine.
  4. Knead, either by hand or machine for 6-10 minutes, until able to pass the windowpane test.
  5. Let proof in an oiled bowl until double (around 90 minutes)
  6. Remove from the bowl and shape into a loaf.
  7. Place in a lightly sprayed loaf pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  8. Once dough has crested the loaf pan, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Bake for 20 mins, rotate pan, and bake for 20 - 30 more minutes (final bread temp 185-190)
  10. Remove immediately from pan and cool for one hour before cutting.
I now have a week to prepare for bread challenge two which is labeled Artos: Greek Celebration Breads.


Sarah said...

Yum! Always deliciously inspiring.

Chris said...

Thanks Sarah! Welcome back by the way. Hope Seattle was good.

Sarah said...

Indeed. But it's good to be back to my own kitchen. :)

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