"This recipe's name comes from a New England fisherman whose lazy wife always served him corn meal mush and molasses. One day, tired of the same corn meal mush for dinner, he mixed it with flour and yeast and bake it as bread, saying: 'ANNA damn her.' "
That story behind this recipe's name comes right out of an old (OLD!) Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book. I think it's a book from the late 50's and I bought it back in 1961 when I was in Home Economics class and gave it to my mother. Even though she didn't need recipe books to make many delicious things for daddy and us eight kids, she did use this book quite a bit.
Today, thinking of (and missing) my mother, I looked through this book to find some kind of old recipe to have fun with. For no special reason, I settled on ANADAMA BREAD.
Oh, wait!-- it might have been the story that's printed up above that caught my eye and played with my curiosity. Here is the recipe:
Bring to boil in saucepan:
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt.
To prevent lumping, SLOWLY sprinkle in:
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
Return to boiling point, stirring constantly.
Pour this into a large mixing bowl.
1/3 cup molasses
1 and 1/2 tablespoon shortening
Cool all to lukewarm
Dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast granules in
1/4 cup warm water (not hot, just 100-110 degrees)
with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Add the dissolved yeast to the lukewarm corn meal mixture.
*Original recipe asks for a total of from 4 to 4 and 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose Gold Medal flour, but please read what I did at the bottom of the recipe.*
First, mix in one-half of the total flour amount. Then, add just enough of the remaining flour to handle easily; mix with hand (dough will be sticky). Turn unto lightly floured board; knead for a few minutes, and let rise until double (about 1 and 1/2 hours).
Punch down, shape into loaf shape, place in greased 9x5x3" loaf pan. I like to put a strip of parchment paper (lengthwise) in the bottom of my bread pans. I then lightly spray the strip of paper and the pan sides with something "non-stick"-- but, a light coating of shortening would serve the same purpose.
Brush top with melted butter. Sprinkle with a very small amount of yellow corn meal and coarse salt. Let rise in pan until about 1-2 inches above the pan-- it will look like this:
As shown in the picture below: I am sure it is not necessary, but I often like to make a couple of slashes/gashes in the risen bread before I bake it to prevent the "stretching" that sometimes happens just above the top edge of the pan while baking. To successfully make the "slashes/gashes" without causing the dough to "fall", I have to use a knife with a blade that is VERY sharp and coated with cooking oil. Then, ever so lightly, I make the gashes like this...
Bake at 375-degrees for 40-45 minutes OR until a rich brown. (Only because I already have an oven-proof probe thermometer, I often insert it into a loaf of bread after it's been baking for about thirty-minutes, shut the oven door, and it "sounds an alarm" when the internal temperature reaches 200-degrees.) Ovens vary, so watch how yours does with this-- you may have to adjust the temperature and/or time a bit. If the top of the loaf browns too quickly, put a sheet of aluminum foil over the top until it's done. Makes 1 loaf. Coming out of the oven, mine looked like this:
While making this bread, I was wondering if it
would have a strong molasses taste, but,
in my opinion, it is "ever so slight".
*By using King Arthur's BREAD FLOUR, I didn't
use much more than a total of 3 and 1/2 cups...
plus a very small amount for the counter top.