New England Anadama Bread

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Yield: 1 loaf

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There are many versions of how this bread came into being. They're all similar, but each varies slightly. The general consensus is that a New England woman named Anna provoked her husband — some say through laziness, others say from baking the same bread daily, or for not finishing her bread-baking. The husband either threw a bag of cornmeal at her and missed, but spilled it into the dough; or he grabbed cornmeal instead of flour and tried to finish her bread. He muttered, "Anna, damn her!"

The story's origin may be confused, but this simple loaf of flour, cornmeal, yeast, and molasses has graced New England kitchens for years. This hearty bread is great for sandwiches, and good with any number of soups.

New England Anadama Bread

star rating (15) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf
Published: 12/03/2010



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1) Whisk together the cornmeal and salt.

2) Add the butter and molasses to the bowl.

3) Pour in the boiling water, stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, about 15 minutes.

4) Mix in the dry milk, flours, and yeast. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes; this gives the flours and cornmeal a chance to absorb the liquid.

5) Knead the dough for about 7 minutes at medium speed of a stand mixer, until it's smooth. It'll be quite stiff, but still fairly sticky on the surface. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's just about doubled, about 1 hour.

6) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan, and let the dough rise until the center has crested at least 1" above the lip of the pan, about 90 minutes.

7) Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

8) Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F. You may want to tent the bread loosely with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes of baking, if you prefer a lighter crust.

Yield: 1 sandwich loaf.


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  • star rating 03/05/2015
  • Sandra from San Francisco
  • Followed exactly and did have the dry problem. So, performed a little experiment. If most people like me, measured the water and then boiled, it will be dry due to the amount of water lost to steam when the water boils! I measured one cup of water before and after boiling and yep, significant loss! Simply a matter of physics. Suggest measuring water after boiling. I put my bowl on a scale, zeroed it out and then poured in the water by volume. Be careful as it is hot or simply add a bit of wTer as others did to the dough to get the required texture to the dough. Amazing what a little science can solve!
    Great thinking, Sandra! Careful flour measurement is also key and we're glad to hear that you use the scale for best accuracy with your ingredients. Thanks for sharing your recipe success - happy baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/31/2014
  • dianet from KAF Community
  • Agree with a few others - just finished mixing the ingredients per the instructions. Wow, totally DRY!! Not sure I will even try to repair and bake.
    It sounds like you've let the dough rest as directed - 15 minutes, then another 20 minutes and instead of a sticky surface dough you have a dry one. It's fine to add water a tablespoon at a time to achieve the soft and supple dough from a dry dough. Your dough results are what the baker's hotline is for - calling us in the midst of the process so we can trouble shoot it with you - we're here from 8AM to 9PM - eastern time - at 855-371-2253. Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/19/2014
  • Alan from Adirondacks, NY
  • Great recipe for a tasty loaf. I added 1c of sourdough starter (1c flour and 0.5c water) and reapportioned the remaining ingredients. The scent while baking was mouth watering and the taste was wonderful. This is a keeper recipe.
  • star rating 10/09/2013
  • LulusCookinNow from KAF Community
  • This bread came out just fabulous. After baking regularly for about one year, it was easy, fun and tasty. I just love the texture of the bread. It sliced great. good for toast sandwiches and just plain with butter on it. I am amazed at the difference in taste with molasses. I really loved it. I did experiment with making some bread balls, squishing them down into english muffin rings. A really fun way to have a baby bread loaves for homemade soup (lovely little domed loaves)! Thanks for this one. FYI I've changed the story in my mind to the husband coming home, smelling all the wondrous smells and in a fit of passion grabbed his lovely wife, and she hit the shelf knocking in the cornmeal....That's just part of the fun RIGHT?? I will make this again and again.
    Now that's a baking visual - lovely loaves, loving spouse! Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • 07/06/2013
  • Namita from India
  • I am a self taught passionate baker. A lot of bread baking sites including KAF have helped me pick up the nuances of bread baking. I tried Anadama bread. I felt that the quantity of water mentioned in the recipe is less for 3/4 cup cornmeal, 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups APF. However, i got the right dough with just a cup of APF instead of two. Final rising time was also about an hour. The bread came out extremely well, very delicious too! Thanks.
  • star rating 05/05/2013
  • Buffalo Jean from KAF Community
  • Tastes great -- excellent crumb. One slice, toasted, with marmalade and my family is happy!
  • star rating 04/27/2013
  • Baker in SC from South Carolina
  • I had the same issue as reviewer CV CA. The liquid amounts in the recipe gave me a lumpy dry looking dough, so i added about another 1/4C of water to get a more supple, smooth dough. But maybe that was too much. Because after 45-50min in a 81/2 x 41/2 pan, the dough had risen over an inch. Wow. But it tasted good. Next time i will either use the same liquid measurement as in the recipe or a bigger pan.
  • star rating 02/23/2013
  • thefiverogers from CV CA
  • I have made many variations of Anadama bread over the years but when I saw this one on the KA home page voted as one of several KA community favorites I had to try it. I made exactly as directed using a scale to measure flours and cornmeal. I stirred together the cornmeal and boiling water in the bucket of bread machine, let it cool as directed and then used the bread machine to do a little stir in of the flour as directed - NO WAY this is the correct amount of water - it was like dry crumbly stuff, I added around 1/4 c. additional water until the crumbles came together and allowed to knead for just a few minutes before turning it off for the 20 minute rest before finishing the kneading and rise in the bread machine. Seemed like alot of dough for a 81/2 x 41/2 pan and took less than an hour for it to rise a good inch or more above the rim of the pan in a 68degree room. If I had not been watching it closely I would have ended up with a very over risen bread. This is definately one that you do not want to double in bulk! I feel like the recipe, especially as compared to other KA recipe could use a little tweeking for the newbie baker to be successful. However this recipe came out with a very tender, relatively tight crumb good for toast or perfect for sandwiches. The molasses flavor was prominent, I want to try it again using honey, for an even more versatile bread. I recommend this recipe with adjustment and/or notes pertaining to water and rise time it would be a 5 star. Again - good flavor, very tender tight crumb!
    You were so right to check the consistency of this dough and add liquid to get the soft, supple texture. Letting the cornmeal mixture rest for 15 minutes and then letting the dough rest for 20 minutes gives time for the dough to soften - we're glad you listed to the dough to add more liquid as well as watching the rise. We'll look this recipe over again to be sure the liquid amounts are correct. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/16/2013
  • mpls tom from KAF Community
  • Because I ordered your King Arthur Bread book I found this recipe on your website and the first try was a disaster. The second time I increased the water by 1/4 cup and the resting time before kneading to 30 minutes. It came out well with an incredible crust and a tight crumb.
  • star rating 02/11/2012
  • Steve from Maine
  • Excellent bread! Had a cup+ of "aging sour cream" and subbed it for the dry milk, adjusting the water amount a bit. Very nice crust, rich and moist.
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