Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anadama Bread, Part 2: BBA Challenge Recipe #1

I spent this last week preparing for my great comeback in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. After an unsuccessful first attempt at Anadama Bread, I spent this past week preparing for round two. Like someone preparing for a marathon or climbing Mt. Everest I did my homework, spent some time soul-searching and mentally prepared myself for the upcoming challenge.

This time around I did some things differently. First, I started the process much earlier in the day than the last time. After the soaker has sat overnight it takes about 4 or 5 hours to make this bread. While most of that time is spent waiting for the dough to proof, it's still a significant amount of time. Starting earlier definitely paid off because I felt calm through the entire project, unlike the last time which can only be described as 'frazzled', and I wasn't worried about having to bake the bread at nine o'clock on a Sunday night.

The first part of the recipe was, again, a breeze. After allowing the soaker to sit overnight I combined it with the flour, yeast and water. Once it started bubbling I added in the molasses, flour, salt and butter.

Hooray! I remembered the butter...

The last time I got personal with the dough by kneading it myself. This time around I decided to use the stand mixer and I didn't feel like I missed out on anything. It was so much easier and much less messy to use the mixer. While some might think it's not as authentic to use a mixer, I decided that if Mr. Peter Reinhart thinks it's okay than I think it's okay.

First I used the paddle attachment to mix everything together. Once it was combined I switched it out for the dough hook and let the mixer go on medium until the dough was ready.

To be honest, my dough never passed the window pane test, which means I couldn't stretch it really thin to see light through it. I let the mixer knead the dough for 20 minutes, twice as long as the book instructs, and it still didn't pass the test. However, the dough did have a nice pliable consistency and wasn't sticky so I figured it would be okay.

I transferred it to an oiled bowl and left it at room temperature to proof.

After about an hour and ten minutes it had doubled in size...

At which point I divided it in half to make two loaves...

Again, I let it proof for about and hour and fifteen minutes until the dough looked like this...

Finally, it was ready to bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. 

This is what it looked like when it was done...


No need to buy sandwich bread now! This bread is soft on the inside with a nice crust on the outside-- it tastes better than any bread I've bought at the store. I can't wait to make sandwiches this week for work and I'm sure we'll go through this first loaf in no time at all.

It's exciting to have the first recipe done in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge
Stay tuned for the next baking adventure...


  1. I love any kinds of breads and this one looks great, I;ll bet it smelled heavenly while baking....nice job!

  2. So pretty. I always love home made bread. And aroma is so comforting. These looks gorgeous. I wish I had more time!

  3. Congratulations. Your bread looks amazing. I love all the photos too. Two thumbs up for the bread and hugs for you.

  4. Yay! Practice makes perfect! You have inspired me to make bread this week!

  5. glad that it finally came to a success.
    your bread looks great!

  6. yayy the bread came out beautiful!

  7. There is nothing better than fresh baked bread. Your bread looks great1

  8. Looks wonderful - excellent job! I hope you have a lot of fun with the challenge.

    Happy Baking!

    p.s. I love those aluminum containers!

  9. Good for you for trying again - looks GREAT!

  10. wow you sure went through a lot to make that bread, but it sure looks worth it! Congrats ! :)

  11. I had a friend just give me an Anadama Bread recipe, and I had never heard of it before. Now I see your beautiful creation and will definitely be baking some soon.

  12. Congrats! Finally, you did it and the bread looks really beautifully done. Great job, bravo!


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