Crusty Anadama Rolls

crusty anadama rolls

Crusty Anadama Rolls ~ an old New England recipe that’s been around for generations…cornmeal and molasses give it a golden color, and a chewy texture!

crusty anadama rolls

It’s absolutely the best bread to serve with soups this time of year, and if you make it into giant crusty rolls, like I’ve done here, it’s even better. Everybody can grab their own big hunk. If you’ve never tried it, take advantage of the frigid weather this week to get baking!

anadama rolls rising

Every time I make bread I’m reminded of how simple and unfussy the process really is, and it’s taking me a surprisingly long time to unlearn some of the negative associations I have with it. For instance, kneading is not really back breaking labor, (especially when you let your Kitchen Aid mixer do the job) and dough is actually quite forgiving, it will work with you. You can even interrupt your session, refrigerate the dough, and come back to it the next day. No problem. And, as long as your yeast is fresh and your kitchen is warm, it will rise. Every time! This is a good recipe because you don’t have to take any temperatures, or proof the yeast. The ingredients get piled into the mixer and away you go.

Anadama Rolls brushed with butter

A good brushing of melted butter as these rolls come out of the oven will soften and enrich their crust, but be aware, these are not, by nature, soft pillowy rolls; they have substance and a bite to them, and they won’t have a texture like the kind from pop-open cans. This recipe helps to remind me of what bread is supposed to be like. It’s got flavor, it’s got heft. It will fuel and sustain you. This is food, not fluff.

Crusty anadama rolls

anadama rolls baked in a cast iron skillet

One of the best things about making homemade bread is that it allows me to make an entire meal out of a pot of soup, and I find the combination utterly cozy. Want to know another reason I like soup and bread for dinner? I normally don’t set any restrictions on what I eat for my evening meal, but I do keep to a firm one plate rule —- the only time I give myself a break is for soup ๐Ÿ™‚

Anadama Roll, buttered

Tuck a knob of butter into a warm roll, help yourself to a big ladelful of soup, and thumb your nose at Old Man Winter.

hearty Anadama Rolls
More easy bread recipes ~

crusty anadama rolls
3.12 from 9 votes

Crusty Anadama Rolls

Crusty Anadama Rolls ~ an old New England recipe that's been around for generations...cornmeal and molasses give it a golden color, and a chewy texture!
Course bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
resting 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield 6 large rolls
Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 packet (or 2 1/2 tsp) instant yeast
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter for brushing


  • Set the oven to 350F (do this toward the end of the second rise)
  • Put the cornmeal, salt, butter, and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the boiling water and mix to blend. Let sit for about 15 minutes until it is lukewarm to the touch.
  • Mix in the flours, dry milk, and the yeast until all the flour is incorporated, then cover with plastic and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Change to the dough hook, and knead the dough for about 7 minutes on the medium speed of your stand mixer, until it is smooth.
  • Lightly oil the top of the dough, and cover. Set in a warm place for about an hour, to double in bulk.
  • Remove the dough to a floured board and divide in half. Then take each half and divide into three equal parts. Take each piece and form it into a smooth round.
  • Place the rolls in a lightly buttered cast iron skillet, with one in the center and the rest around it. Cover and let the rolls rise in a warm place for 90 minutes. Toward the end of this time, preheat the oven.
  • Bake the rolls for about 35 minutes until risen and golden.
  • Just after you remove the rolls from the oven, brush the tops with a little melted butter.
  • Serve warm with butter.

Cook's notes

recipe just slightly tweaked from King Arthur Flour
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Crusty Anadama Rolls pin


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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2021 at 11:40 am

    5 stars

  • Reply
    December 30, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Looks delicious! Could I make this in a muffin pan if I don’t have a cast iron skillet?

    • Reply
      December 30, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      I think that should work.

  • Reply
    Pat Coffey
    May 2, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Do you know carbohydrate count in one roll?

  • Reply
    November 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! I loved these growing up in Southern Maine

    • Reply
      November 21, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Where did you live, Kelly? I lived in Kittery Point for a while, and really miss it!

      • Reply
        November 21, 2016 at 9:25 pm


  • Reply
    January 17, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Yum! Can’t wait to serve these at my next dinner get together. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Oh what an intriguing name. As soon as I saw it I had to take an immediate look. Where does it come from, do you know? The bread looks and sounds delicious too and the additions of molasses and cornmeal make me want to try it out – very soon. Happy New Year.

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    January 7, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Cornmeal and molasses?! I am so intrigued by these. Can’t wait to try them.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Is the dry milk powder really necessary? It’s not something I usually have.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      January 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      I’m not sure how this would turn out without it, sorry Teresa. I would say you might try substituting the boiling water with milk, that might work. I recommend keeping dry milk powder in the cupboard, it lasts forever and sometimes comes in handy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 6, 2015 at 5:58 am

    These are truly amazing Sue. You KNOW I would love a few of these about now. The texture looks perfect and I can almost smell that slight sweetness from the molasses – oh my!

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    January 5, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I made anadama bread many years ago, when living in Germany as an Army wife. I found the recipe in a cookbook at the library. I hadn’t thought of it in a long time, and am so glad you did this post! What you write about bread and real food just got me thinking about so many things, especially my grandparents; my grandmother made all of their bread until she was in her 70s. It used to be just a matter-of-fact thing to make bread. I understand that baking in a cast iron skillet can give bread that crispier crust. I don’t have one, but assume that baking in a regular cake pan or square pan would work, just maybe not be as crusty on the top?

    • Reply
      January 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      You can make this in a cake pan, and you can also form it into a loaf and bake it in a regular loaf pan. The bread will form a crust no matter which pan you use I think, just because of the recipe. Let me know how you like it, Terry, maybe you have your grandmother’s touch ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply
        Terry Covington
        January 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm

        Hi, I made this last weekend. It was great! I made 8 rolls in a pan, and they turned out exactly as you said: Nice and crusty on top, and then when brushed with a little butter they became the perfect dinner rolls. They were extremely filling. It was great to make bread again, very easy to mix this together by hand, and this dough rose beautifully. Thanks for bringing it to mind again!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I love to make homemade rolls but this recipe sounds like it would be perfect with a warm bowl of chili or stew with the frigid temps we’re having here. I can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Do you have any idea what kind of difference it would make to use Bread Flour instead of All Purpose Flour?

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    January 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I have such a crush on good looking rolls so you guess it.. I love yours! Must make!

  • Reply
    Sarah | Broma Bakery
    January 5, 2015 at 8:53 am

    I LOVE anadama bread. These rolls remind me of summers throughout my childhood! Pinned and swooning over here ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 7:28 am

    A pan of these rolls would be perfect with the pot of soup that’s simmering on the stove. We love the aroma of baking bread, especially on a cold, rainy day. Happy New Year, Sue. I’m looking forward to all your wonderful posts in this coming year.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2015 at 6:47 am

    there are only a few ways i can tolerate consuming molasses, and this is one of them! what fluffy, fantastic rolls you’ve made!

  • Reply
    Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti
    January 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I could eat the entire skillet full of these rolls, Sue! I love them!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Gorgeous rolls! We’ve been making soup almost every week and these rolls would be the perfect accompaniment!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    January 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my! You’ve combined two of my favourite things – bread and a skillet ๐Ÿ™‚ I made anadama bread a few years ago, when I was baking my way through the Bread Baker’s Apprentice and loved it. Never thought to make it in to rolls. Brilliant.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    How wonderful do these look. Bread with lashings of butter is my weakness.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Sounds great! Does the dry milk get mixed in with the flour?

    • Reply
      January 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Yes, I just updated, thanks Sherlyn!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I never think of Alabama having cold weather. Duh. I like bread, but I am not a bread ‘nut’. Having said that, a really really good roll like this one is a whole different story. They turned out so so so so fluffy. I love the cornmeal and molasses in the dough. Pass me the butter!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I love making skillet bread rolls, and they really aren’t that hard to do. My husband loves Anadama rolls, and I kept promising to make it for him. Thanks to you, I found the perfect recipe. Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Another resolution….I’m going to make more bread this year! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love these rolls, Sue. Great flavors and there’s no better comfort food than fresh bread or rolls.
    Happy New Year, my friend!

    • Reply
      January 4, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Thanks Barb!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    January 4, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Homemade bread is the BEST! These look great, Sue.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 6:14 am

    With snow and single-digit temperatures on the way here in northeastern Ohio, this looks great!

    • Reply
      January 4, 2015 at 7:14 am

      It’s kind of nice how the cold unites all of us across the country — I’m wearing my fingerless mittens at my computer today in Los Angeles ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay warm Amy!

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