Crusty Anadama Rolls ~ cold weather brings out the bread making urge in me, and Anadama is probably my favorite earthy, homemade bread of all time. It’s an old New England recipe that’s been around for generations, and if you live on the East Coast you’ve probably heard of it, but it might be new to those of you in other parts of the country. Cornmeal and molasses give it golden color, a chewy texture, and an ever so slight sweetness.
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!
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
- 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 (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.
recipe just slightly tweaked from King Arthur Flour