My First Bread Making Experience

This recipe goes out to my Gram–one of the best people there was. Born and raised in Maine, she always made sure every recipe she made had that ‘Maine’ touch. One of those recipes was Anadama bread (from the cookbook Cooking Down East), and my mom and I made it, in honor of her.
ImageWe had both never made bread before so this was quite the experience–and turned out extremely well! One thing I do recommend is to make sure you have time in your day when making bread–it’s not necessarily a hard thing to make but it is time consuming.
 
So here we go–for this bread you’ll need:
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of molasses 2 T. shortening
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp. dry yeast (or 1 package dry yeast)
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • About 6 cups flour

Start off by mixing the cornmeal and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Cook for just a couple of minutes. Then, add the molasses, salt and shortening and cook together until ingredients are well mixed. next, turn this mixture into a bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm. In the meantime, measure 1/4 cup lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in that. When the cornmeal mixture is lukewarm add dissolved yeast. Then start adding flour. When mixture makes a stiff dough, turn onto a floured surface and start kneading (feel free to add more flour as needed) and continue kneading until dough is smooth and glossy. Then, place dough in a greased bowl. Cover, and place in a warm spot, allowing the dough to rise until doubled in bulk. Poke down and allow to rise once more. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and let it relax for ten minutes. Make into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Then, let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake for 10 minutes at 450F, then reduce heat and bake for about 20 minutes at 325 F.

There definitely is a lot of waiting involved, but trust me it’s worth it! It’s really neat to see how the yeast makes the dough rise, especially when it’s placed in the heat. My mom and I were truly impressed with our efforts and could not sample the bread fast enough. It was the most fluffy and dense bread I’ve ever had–I was in heaven. The molasses provided the perfect amount of sweetness to the cornmeal. Now I see why my Gram loved this bread. You must test this out, plus bread making is such a fun experience. But until next time, keep eating!

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