One recent evening Nicole of Pinch My Salt announced, via Twitter, that she was going to bake every recipe in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and asked if anyone else might be willing to virtually bake along with her. As I am never one to turn down a challenge and I bake most of our bread I quickly signed on for the ride. I ordered the book from Amazon and it arrived shortly before I fell down our front steps and bruised my ribs. Since I’ve been a little laid up since then, it’s been perfect reading. The first 100 pages of the book are all about the hows and whys of bread, written in such a way to encourage you to keep the pages turning. And turn I did.
And that’s how we get to the first recipe, Anadama Bread. According to legend this bread is of New England origin–although I’ve never heard of it before, have you Mom?–involving a man who, upon the discovery that his wife had left him with naught but a drop of molasses and some leftover cornmeal porridge proclaimed “Anna, damn her” as he mixed up this bread. Time and polite society slurred the words together and the result is Anadama, a lightly sweet wheat loaf studded with fragments of coarsely ground corn with a lovely golden tan color. A soft bread, this loaf is perfect for sandwiches and the cornmeal adds a great crunch, especially when toasted.
All in all, it’s an easy loaf to make and the final product is versatile (other members of the group have made it into French toast, bread salad, and bread pudding and well as shaping into rolls rather than loaves). I found it to be a very pretty loaf, with a good crumb and a lovely color but not a remarkable flavor. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.