This view is straight out front–I believe that is a dog back at the bottom of the photo. The sign is our house number–we need to figure out how to nicely display our house number, as opposed to a large painted sign!
Not that I am complaining. Just check out these views–these were all taken from either inside in front of an open door or out on the front porch. My dad visited for the first time since we moved in last weekend and he spent a lot of time just staring out the windows. When he left he said:
“There is not a bad view in the house.”
And the few neighbors we have are awesome. We can barely see their houses if at all (score!) but they have brought us food, offered to help unload stuff and John has parked his car in one neighbor’s driveway at the top of the hill to make sure he can get out tomorrow morning. That is what I call the perfect neighborhood–spread out but friendly.
Anyway about this Anadama bread. I made 2 loaves, and one of them turned out a bit too soft, so I have 2 pieces of advice about it to avoid this. I joke about not waiting a lot but I would really let this bread cool completely. Perhaps more important, and something Reinhart said that I missed until after I made the bread, different flours and molasses brands can really make the hydration differ in this bread, so don’t be afraid to add a lot more flour because the dough should not be sticky. I added a decent amount of extra flour but I think I should have added more still.
*This is a 2 day bread–be sure to read the instructions and start the night before!
1 cup (6 oz) coarse cornmeal
1 cup room temp water
4 1/2 cups (20.25 oz) bread flour (I subbed in one cup of white whole wheat and let the dough rest before kneading as a result)
2 t instant yeast
1 cup water, lukewarm (90-100 F)
1 1/2 t salt
6 T (4 oz) molasses–use a lighter molasses if you do not like the fuller molasses flavor
2 T shortening or unsalted butter
The day before making the bread, combine the cornmeal and water in a small bowl for the soaker. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter overnight.
The next day stir together the soaker, 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and the water and mix together thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1 hour or until bubbling (I left mine for 2 1/2 hours and it was fine, although I did use cool water).
Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour, the molasses, the salt and the butter and mix–either by hand or with a paddle, switching to a dough hook when it becomes too stiff and starts to form a shaggy mass. Knead, adding flour as necessary, to make a tacky but not sticky ball of dough. As you knead it should be firm and pliable and definitely not sticky. It should take about 10 minutes of kneading.
Lightly oil a bowl and place the ball of dough inside, rolling it around to coat it with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until it has doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Divide the dough in half for 9X5 loaves or into thirds for 8X4 loaves. Shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and leave to rise until the dough has definitively risen above the lip of the pan, 1-1 1/2 hours.
20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the loaves for 40-50 minutes on a sheet pan, rotating from front to back halfway through. The loaves are done when they register 185-190 F internally and make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
Cool completely before slicing.