Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The story of Anadama bread is what drew me into this New England Bread. The story goes that housewife Anna was fed up with her husband and walked out one day leaving him with nothing to eat but cornmeal mush and molasses. "Anna, damn 'er," the man exclaimed in a heavy Boston accent before adding flour and yeast to turn these humble ingredients into a lightly sweet and nutty bread. (The James Beard Foundation offers several alternative stories, but they are all in the same vein.)
A good story, however, isn't enough to keep a bread recipe around for more than a century. I adore the flavor of molasses and I was interested to see what the cornmeal would do to the texture of the loaf. This bread is great either sliced for sandwiches or toasted with (blueberry) jam since it has both sweet and savory dimensions. I'm struggling to describe it because it doesn't really taste like any other bread I've ever had. Surprisingly, the cornmeal adds a hint of graininess without weighing down the bread while the molasses adds a slightly earthy flavor. If you are looking for a twist on your regular sandwich loaf, consider Anadama bread (and quit cursing!).