Old-Fashioned Anadama Bread

"This recipe is from a wonderful cookbook called "From the Cook's Garden." It makes a sturdy homestyle bread with a hint of sweetness. I like mine spread with herbed cream cheese and topped with garden-fresh sliced tomatoes."
photo by LifeIsGood photo by LifeIsGood
photo by LifeIsGood
Ready In:
2 loaves




  • Mix the cornmeal with the 3/4 cups cold water in a medium saucepan.
  • Whisk in the boiling water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • When the cornmeal mixture starts to boil, add the butter, molasses and salt.
  • Cook until the mixture is the consistency of pudding-- stirring constantly.
  • It should take about 7 minutes.
  • Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and let it cool to lukewarm.
  • Don't get impatient with the cooling, because if it's too hot (over 115 degrees farenheit), it will kill the yeast.
  • It will form a skin on the top, but it's no big deal.
  • Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl and let it sit until the yeast looks foamy.
  • Stir to dissolve the yeast, then add it to the cornmeal mush.
  • Just an aside about the"warm" definition in case you are a beginning bread-maker without a thermometer.
  • The temperature you want is when you drop water on your wrist, it feels neither cool nor hot-- test it the way you would a baby's bottle.
  • I killed yeast with too-hot water when I was starting out.
  • Now back to the recipe.
  • Mix the all-purpose and wheat flours together and start stirring them into the cornmeal mixture, a cup at a time to make a soft, sticky dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured work service and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  • You can add more flour as needed, but don't get carried away.
  • Because of the molasses, the dough will stay sticky.
  • As long as the dough isn't sticking excessively to the board, you have enough flour.
  • I knead this with my stand mixer, and there's always a little"smear" of dough around the edges of the bowl.
  • Form the dough into a ball and put it in a large, lightly oiled bowl.
  • Turn the dough ball to get a little oil all over it.
  • Let rise until double in size, about an hour.
  • Punch the dough down (Really, just pick up the sides and let it collapse on itself. No need to be violent.), cover with a towel, and let rest in the bowl for 10 minutes.
  • Get two 9-x5-inch loaf pans ready by lightly oiling them.
  • After the dough's little rest, divide it into two pieces and shape each piece into a loaf.
  • Put them in the loaf pans, and roll them around so they get a nice little coating of oil.
  • Cover with a towel and let the loaves rise until they touch the top of the pan.
  • That takes about half an hour.
  • While they're rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees farenheit, and position your rack in the center of the oven.
  • Slide the loaf pans in and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove the loaves from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I was feeling kind of down this past weekend and decided to do some baking, which always makes me feel better. On sunday morning, I made this bread, and it was devoured when everyone woke up! I'm usually not a fan of molasses, but it wasn't overpowering at all. Not too sweet or too salty.. it's perfect! I'll definitely be making this again, thanks!
  2. Not a mistake ~ zero stars. I remember as a kid mom would make anadama bread every once in a while. And we all loved it. I had her recipe for years and had baked it several times every time, it was just like she baked. Somewhere I lost the recipe and I wanted to bake some or anadama bread. I hit the internet and found this recipe. I printed the recipe and follow the instructions. I was horribly disappointed! As I was adding the flour to the prior mix of molasses, cornmeal, butter, etc. it was really difficult to mix because it was so dry, I couldn't incorporate all the flour into the wet ingredients. I couldn’t figure out why. It was mostly dry. But I dumped it out on the counter and tried to knead it but it was too dry. It was lumpy flour with a lot of dry flour. That was really odd because I had followed the instructions exactly as printed! I double checked the recipe and the only liquid ingredient of any quantity was molasses, so I added another ¼ C of molasses. As I was kneading that extra molasses nothing was sticking together it was just dust. So I added ¼ C more molasses. Kneading that in, things started to stick together but after ½ hour it still wasn’t enough so I added ¼ C more molasses. Kneading that in it started sticking together better and it was also sticking to my hands so I figured there was plenty of molasses. Per instructions I put in a bowl, covered with a towel to let it raise. It took me almost an hour to clean up the counter, pull the range out and clean all of the flower and droppings that got shoved between the cabinet and range when I was trying to knead the dough. I put everything back together and checked the dough. No change, it did not raise at all. That was fresh yeast and I worked as it was supposed to during prep and nothing was too hot so it wasn’t the yeast. I cut the dough into 2 pieces, formed into loaves, put in lightly greased pans, and wait for them to raise. After 30 minutes I put them in the oven even though they had not raised at all. Oven was set at 400°. After 15 minutes I turn the oven down to 375°and waited. After another 15 minutes or so I pulled the loaves out, they’re the same size as they were when I drop them in there. So I’ve got a couple of brick doorstops now, not exactly what I had in mind but at least useful. I went back to the original recipe online, I read the directions word for word, there was nothing I didn’t do, there was no ingredient I missed. So I checked the ingredient list, there are 10 items listed. As I went through every ingredient I checked it off as being used in tonight’s bread making except one, 1 ½ cups boiling water. Where was that supposed to be added? I don’t know. So if you want a couple of bricks doorstops this is your recipe if you want anadama bread this is not the one for you.
  3. This bread is extremely popular here. The first time I made it, it came out awesome. It had a good flavor, soft but not too soft, dense enough to be used for sandwiches but not overly dense either. All in all, it was amazing. My second batch? Uh...let's just say it was one of my more spectacular bread failures. Too dense, didn't rise right, and as solid as a brick. I know I added too much flour and over kneaded it. Meh - mistakes happen. I'll be slicing it up and freezing it until I make French toast casserole again. I plan on trying again later and with luck I'll have my earlier success again.
  4. In the early 70s I was a cook on a dude ranch. I made this bread for 60 people twice a week. It was always popular because it was dense, dark and moist with just a hint of sweetness. For many years I have look for the original recipe that I used. I can tell you this is it. Not only because of the simple ingredients but because I remember stirring a HUGE pot of cornmeal to make 10-12 loaves.
  5. This recipe makes 2 hearty loaves of bread. I enjoyed the 'earthiness' and dense texture. The molassaes was a delicious touch and not overwhelming. Thanks for the great bread recipe. ~Made for the Nov. Aussie/NZ Swap~


  1. My husband loves this bread. Sometimes substitute 1 cup of whole bean flour for some of the whole wheat flour with very tasty results.



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