Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Anadama Makes a Damn Fine Breakfast

"If heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovlier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden tea?”
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes (1996)
In baking through the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, the baking challenge that has caught the bread baking internet by storm, the first recipe was for Anadama bread. It consists of a cornmeal soaker, mixed the next day with flour, water, yeast, salt, molasses and a touch of butter and is named after a tale of a man being abandoned by his wife and left with only cornmeal mush and some molasses. In his anger and, apparently, hunger, he combined them with flour, water and yeast to make bread, all the while muttering, "Anna, damn 'er!". Touching.

In my resolve to bake with whole grains, I substituted the 20.25 oz of white flour with 10 oz whole wheat, 5 oz oat flour and 5 oz brown rice flour. The last .25 oz I used gluten flour for added structure. I forgot to put the extra cornmeal on the top of the loaves.. oops!
I had a good rise, but the loaves had flat-topped by the time I got them into the oven. I am ok with that. The loaves turned out light and crispy and delicious, I am really getting to like the texture that a little rice flour lends a whole grain loaf. Sort of like the Panko of the loaf world!

I served the first slices in the morning, lightly toasted to bring out the crispiness, with lettuce, tomato and sliced egg, garnished with fresh basil from my indoor plant that I have managed not to kill yet. Don't forget the S&P!
Very nice, I claim this one to be a success.
For the original recipe, click here.