Flying Flour, Splashing Spices, Roomful Aromas

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Anadama: Peter Rheinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge

Thanks to Chris at for hosting the BBA Challenge of 2011.  I missed the one hosted earlier by a different bread blogger and saw on The Fresh Loaf Chris was starting with the new year.  Perfect timing and here I am!

I mixed the cornmeal and water as the soaker and let it sit overnight.  Morning arrived bringing with it the time to make the sponge.  This went together easily and showed signs of promising performance immediately with the appearance of bubbles.  I allowed it to rest for the required hour; then returned to complete the dough build.  This formed a very moist, sticky dough.  With the dough turned out for the knead, I added a little flour at a time.  When the dough was tacky rather than sticky, I returned the dough to the greased bowl for a rest of 90  minutes.  I have learned a moist, tacky dough can be a good thing and adding more flour to prevent sticking can make a tough loaf.

The bowl filled and the dough was  beautiful.  I turned it out for shaping.  Still a tacky dough, I dusted my hands rather than the dough.  That turned out to be a good decision.  I made two 1.5lb loaves and placed them into the bread pans for the final proof.  Cooler temps today (even in Florida) caused me to increase this rise time to just more than an hour.

In a preheated 350 degree oven, I slid the pans in and set the timer.  At the end of 45 minutes, the loaves looked great, but I have grown to appreciate more color for the crust.  I added 12 minutes.

Removing the loaves from the pan started out as a worry.  Patience served me well today.  I let the loaves rest for about 5 minutes, ran a spatula along the interior of the bread pan for the release.  There they were on the rack in a cloud of steam, aroma and rich honey color.

 As the aroma filled the house, the Combsman appeared, hovering.  But he waited, allowing the bread to finish and cool.  Soon he was rewarded.

 Color is good but I would prefer
a bit more dome rise above the edge of the bread pans.

Slicing and tasting brought satisfaction of the flavors and textures of a well baked Anadama

 This recipe is in every bread book I have on the shelf and a few  other cookbooks as well. I had never made this and without Chris' BBA Challenge we wouldn't be sharing and enjoying this treat this weekend.

Come on back soon. There will be more reviews of recipes and more BBA Challenge results.  Comments are welcome.


  1. Lisa -

    I though I'd left a comment already. Weird. Ah well, in any case your loaves look good! I too went over the time, I think I went to 52 min or so. I also like a bit of crust action.

    Did you say somewhere that you went light on the molasses?

  2. What great looking loaves. I've thought about making this, but haven't yet. Your descriptions always make me smell the bread.
    I've missed KWF something awful this year, especially as I sit here watching the snow come down.

  3. What great looking loaves! I just finished my Greek Celebration Bread today.

  4. Found your blog from Elwood. Finally, purchased the BBA book. Am on my way over to the BBA Challenge of 2011 to see if I might join.
    Good luck to you on all your breads.

  5. Your bread looks wonderful and tasty!!