Anadama bread will bring out the artisan in you

By Jim Bailey

Anadama bread is artisan in nature to begin with, and it is also a great bread for sharing during the holidays. Tearing a slightly sweet chunk off to sop up salty gravy is so apropos, you will wonder why you haven’t been doing this much longer.

1 cup warm water
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice, optional
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
1 (.25-ounce) package yeast
3/4 cup warm buttermilk
1 cup molasses
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
Nonstick cooking spray

Bring water to a boil over medium high heat.

Add cornmeal and whisk well while continuing to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat to cool 10 minutes.

Blend both flours, salt, allspice and cloves well; set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm buttermilk and molasses whisked together. Let sit for 10 minutes until very foamy.

Add flour mixture and the salt, mixing with a sturdy wooden spoon until just combined. Add the cornmeal mixture and melted butter.

Continue to mix until the dough comes together and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour as needed. This is tough but is easily accomplished. You can also use a hook attachment on a mixer if desired.

Spray the top of the dough with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover with a dry cloth to rise for an hour or so in a warm spot of your kitchen –gas ovens are best– until almost doubled in bulk (see NOTE).

Remove dough to a work surface heavily dusted with half and half flour and cornmeal and knead until no longer sticky, about 2-3 minutes.

Mold into a large dough ball and place on an ungreased pan. Slash an ‘X’ onto the surface and lightly grease the dough ball with cooking spray.

Allow to rise until about double in size again.

Heat oven to 400-degrees F and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when “knocked” on top with your knuckles.

NOTE: I place my dough, covered, in my dishwasher with the plate warmer on for a few minutes. I keep the door closed and turn off the plate warmer. This exponentially shortens the rising period.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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