Saturday, 11 April 2015

Our Daily Bread

Back when I still could tolerate wheat we had a bread machine and my favourite bread to make was Anadama bread.  traditional New England bread and the (apocryphal) legend says that Anna was a fisherman’s wife who regularly fed her husband cornmeal mush flavoured with molasses. One day, the story goes, he got sick of this meal and added some flour and yeast and turned it into bread all the while muttering, “Anna--damn her.”

Basically it was mostly flour, a bit of cornmeal and molasses. 

What it was was freakin’ delicious.

Ever had that amazing dark bread at Outback Steak House? It is kinda like that. I haven’t been to one of those in years--the clue is in the name--STEAK HOUSE. But I remember that bread fondly. I could have made a whole meal of it.

So I looked at some Anadama recipes on line and adapted one to suit our loaf tin. I also wanted a quick bread as I didn’t want to faff about with yeast. I am willing to deal with yeast for pizza dough, but have no patience for a loaf of bread.

You don’t need yeast for this rich, flavoursome loaf.

Anadama Bread

 Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Lightly grease a loaf pan and then put a bit of parchment in there so you can remove it easily after baking. The oil helps the paper not to shift around when you are spooning in batter.

 First sour your milk. We are making buttermilk here to give the bread a bit of tang.

1 cup plant based milk (we used Oatly, but soya milk would also do nicely)

1 TB lemon juice

Add the lemon juice to the milk and let it curdle for a few minutes.

Stir in 1 ½ TB blackstrap molasses with a fork until dissolved in the buttermilk.

1 ¾ cups wholemeal spelt flour, sifted (whole wheat would work as well)

¼ cup cornmeal

1 tsp salt

1tsp baking SODA

Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Add  your buttermilk molasses mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon into your parchment lined loaf tin and smooth the top.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Lift out and let cool on a wire rack for as long as you can stand it before slicing it.

This was *just* like I remembered it being. Moist, dense, lightly sweet, a little crunchy from the cornmeal and just plain delicious. Despite the fact that molasses is a sweetener, the bread is rather savoury.

Anna, whoever you were….bless you.

1 comment:

  1. oh Anna, how grateful we are to you! Great story, true or not, and I just love the remembrance of eating this bread with you.