Anadama Bread

The story goes that a pioneer woman named Anna neglected her culinary duties of making warm mush for breakfast (she must have been a stitcher!), mixing the mush and then letting it go cold. Upon finding that she did not have a warm breakfast ready when he came in from the fields, her husband was very angry. Relating this story to his buds, he said, "Anna, damn her!" and then recounted the rest of the story. Whether to make up for her sloth or because she really -was- a stitcher and therefore used to improvising, Anna used the cold mush to make a bread.

This bread is brown rather than white, but this is because of molasses, not because of whole wheat flour. If you like, substitute whole wheat flour for half of the white flour in this recipe. It has a sweet taste, too, which is especially nice for breakfast. This recipe makes a lot! That's ok because it freezes well!

I have streamlined the directions below. I have a file about bread-making basics if you'd like more detail about individual steps.

2 c water
2 T oleo
1 t salt
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c dark molasses

Boil water and add cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. When smooth, add molasses, salt, and oleo. Pour in large cool to cool to lukewarm.

2 pkg yeast
1/2 c lukewarm water
1 T sugar
6 c flour

Mix yeast water and sugar and set aside to bubble and double in bulk. This is a true yeast sponge.

Stir in and then knead in the flour.

Let rise 'til doubled. Punch down. Knead, adding more flour if needed.

Form loaves (loaves in pans are the traditional way, but you certainly could make loaves to cook on a sheet). Let rise 'til doubled.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake until loaves are golden. Yield: 2 to 4 loaves.

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