Anna, damn her! I mean Anadama Bread

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Something you may not know about me is that I’m not much of a baker! Gasp! Shocking I know right! Ask me to whip up a five course meal & that’s no problem. But ask me to bake homemade from scratch bread & I’m at a loss! You see, I’m more of a taste & see kind of cook. I add ingredients mostly by sight, taste them & then adjust as needed. Well, in baking you simply CAN NOT do that. Measurements have to be precise or your final product is a bust!

Despite my lack of baking skills, In the past few weeks I really have been wanting to bake bread! & then a large FLASHING SIGN came down in front of me via Twitter! Nicole of PinchMySalt recently started a group called The Bread Bakers Apprentice – (bba for short). The group is going through Peter Reinhart’s book “The Bread Bakers Apprentice- Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” and making each & every recipe. I saw this is my chance! A HUGE undertaking for a novice baker mind you. But as I do love a challenge I signed up & now we’re off. The first week’s challenge (& of course all of these will be a challenge for me) is ANADAMA bread!

I’m can’t wait to take you along on my breadbaking journey! My goal is to post each week’s challenge bread! If you’d like to join in the fun I’d love it if you’d pick up a copy of the Bread Bakers Apprentice & bake along with me! Come on, if I can do it, anyone can!

A little background on the Andama bread. It is a New England bread made with polenta (cornmeal) & molasses among other ingredients. The name has an interesting backstory which tells of a man whose wife (Anna) left him. Not only did she leave him she left him with only cornmeal & molasses in the house. While he was mixing up the ingredients he is said to have muttered “Anna, damn her!” And her namesake was born! They obviously changed the name later to a more politcally correct Anadama!

Some observations I made:
You have to be patient when making bread! LOL It is truly a process! I’m adding some step by step photos this time around so you can see the entire process. This recipe was done over the course of 2 days. You have to make a “soaker”. One of many of the new baking terms I am sure to be learning. Which sits overnight. You have to start VERY early in the day if you’d like to have your bread ready to go that evening.

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Soaker ready for the addition of ingredients…

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butter & molasses added in…

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waiting on the bread to “proof” which means rise to all of us non-bakers

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neatly shaped & placed into loaf pan, once again waiting to proof…

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ta da! The final product…Fresh out of the oven! The smell is intoxicating!

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All sliced up waiting on you!

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In addition to a loaf of bread I also made some dinner rolls. Here I used the roll to make a toasted BLT! DELICIOUS!

I really am  so excited about this bread baking challenge! Won’t you come along & join me?

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Sneak peek: Next week’s challenge: Artos – Greek Celebration Breads!

29 Comments

  1. 1

    Your anadama looks fantastic. I love your photos. Great job!

    • 1.1

      Thanks so much Wendy! This was literally the first loaf of homemade bread I ever made!

  2. 2
    Mylynka /

    Congrats on your first bread! I actually love to bake bread. It is very therapeutic for me. A lesson in patience, too. Maybe i will make us some tonight – or tomorrow!

    Keep it up! You will love bread making!

    • 2.1

      Thanks for the encouragement Mylynka! I’m already excited about next week’s bread!

  3. 3

    Love the photos. Bread looks yummy too. Hopefully u will love making the next one too – Artos…! We loved it…d-lish…Happy Baking – Pete Eatemall

    • 3.1

      Thanks Jenn! The first one was delicious! I have high hopes for the Artos. It’s quite beautiful looking!

  4. 4

    Once again, your photos have me drooling on my keyboard! I love that you’re so willing to take on this challenge. Looking forward to reading the rest of your bread endeavors!

  5. 5

    Your bread looks divine! I thought about participating in the challenge, but it seemed a bit advanced for me at this point. I may try a recipe here and there though! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • 5.1

      Thanks Amy! It was so yummy! Well if this is advanced for you then I’m in trouble! Your baked goods are incredible! I’m a total baking novice :)

  6. 6

    You’re the second person I’ve seen that made rolls out of the Anadama bread, and I wish I’d thought of it! It would be so good. I am definitely making this bread again, so next time I am going to have to do that!

    • 6.1

      Hi Haley! They were really tasty. We used the rolls to make BLT’s! The rolls were a last minute decision & made out of necessity. My loaf pans were 2 different sizes so I compensated by making rolls!

  7. 7

    Baking bread is so much fun!!! Both breads look fab :)

    • 7.1

      Thanks Mara! I really am enjoying it. The smell, the texture…I’ve got my Poolish going for the Artos bread now!

  8. 8

    The bread looks very moist and yummy! You should bake more often!

    • 8.1

      Thanks Tessa! It was extremely moist & yummy! I”ll be going through the entire Bread Baker’s Apprentice book so I’ll be baking A TON of bread! Am very excited to see how each & every one turn out!

  9. 9

    You did a fantastic job with your anadama. I love the roll idea and the sandwich looks yummers.

    • 9.1

      Thanks Mags! The bread didn’t last long @ all! The family couldn’t even wait the “recommended” LOL cooling off period of an hour before they dived in :)

  10. 10

    Your anadama bread looks delicious! I will have to try this one. Also, I love the design on the top of your site!

    • 10.1

      Thanks so much! I’m really pleased with how it turned out! Working on my next bread challenge now! Artos!

  11. 11

    I am jealous! I can NOT bake either! Looks like you are a success! Keep up the good work.

  12. 12

    I could not resist the challenge. Looking ahead it looks like it might be a little too intense for my lifestyle. But I’m going to give it a try. Your pictures are beautiful.

    • 12.1

      Thanks Anne Marie! I just finished the Artos & it looks amazing! Can’t wait til it cools down! I hope it’s as tasty at the Anadama bread! & If I can do I know you can :)

  13. 13

    Paula, your photos are gorgeous!!

    • 13.1

      Thanks so much Nicole! That is a HUGE compliment coming from you! I’m so excited to be a part of this group.

  14. 14

    Paula,
    You ARE a baker. :o) You did a great job not only on your baking but in telling your story.
    It is a pleasure baking along with you. Your bread is awesome.
    Susie

    • 14.1

      Ah Susie Thanks so much! I really appreciate the encouragement. I’ve already learned so much with just the first two recipes! It’s so much fun! I don’t know why it took me so long to try this! I’m glad this challenge came along & gave me the shove I needed!

  15. 15

    Being able to bake your own bread is really cool! I’d like to try that too. I hope I can do it right with bread. lol Thanks! :-)

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