Anadama bread is delicious. And it definitely originates in New England. Pretty much everyone agrees on these two things. What isn’t as clear, however, is the exact source of the name. Depending on who you talk to/what you read, it was either a farmer or a fisherman, exasperated with the constant diet of cornmeal and molasses his wife, Anna, was feeding him. Apparently, the farmer just cursed his wife. The fisherman craved bread, so he threw some yeast and flour into his daily mush, left it near the fire, and ate the resulting loaf. Whichever is true (if either is), it’s an amusing story that reflects on how these two ingredients were a staple in the early New Englander’s daily diet. I’ve been looking forward to making a loaf of anadama for several months, and finally got around to it today.
Holy cow, this is GOOD bread. Possibly the best loaf so far this year.
The loaf itself feels substantial in the hand, but the bread is not overly heavy. Does that make sense? It’s like the tip on how to pick ripe fruit – find one that feels heavy for its size. Anyway. The cornmeal added a delicious flavor and texture, and was a nice departure from all-wheat breads. I was worried that the molasses would be overwhelming, but it just lent a nice undertone. This bread has great depth of flavor. The crust is dark and chewy, with a sprinkling of cornmeal on top for added contrast. The crumb is moist, dense, and amazingly flavorful. It would lend itself well to toast or sandwiches. Our first taste was with just a smear of butter. For dessert, we spread a little jam. I’m sure I’ll be making this again and again and again. And again. Damn you, Anna. Read the rest of this entry ?