This simple New England Anadama bread is made with flour, cornmeal, yeast, and molasses. There is a lovely sweetness from the combination of molasses and cornmeal. The scent of the bread while it bakes is just incredible!
Originally published on September 1, 2015 and slightly updated on February 8, 2021.
Hi, my friends! Like all of you, I’ve been home and I find myself baking more often than usual. This Anadama Bread is a really great bread I shared a while back with my monthly baking project #TwelveLoaves. You could make it with many ingredients you may have right in your pantry. I promise you that the process of making the bread is comforting and the scent of it while baking is absolutely incredible!
We are back with another month of bread baking inspiration! I know you may be wondering what is an anadama bread!! As is typical with each month, I wasn’t sure which bread I wanted to share. I remembered my gorgeous March issue of Bon Appetit had an Anadama bread recipe chock full of seeds…so that was the bread I would share!
You may be wondering what in the world…ANADAMA? I know I was when I first heard it’s name!! The bread originates in New England and it is usually made with whole wheat flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes even rye flour. I found the info on this cool site by Joyce White who is an Annapolis based food historian:
What is the history of anadama bread?
Supposedly, the bread was created sometime before 1850 by either a fisherman or a Finnish stonecutter from the Rockport or Gloucester, Massachusetts areas. The legend claims that a disgruntled husband lashed out at his wife, Anna, for serving him boring cornmeal mush one too many times. In a fit of exasperation, he yelled, “Anna, damn her!”, as he added flour, yeast, and molasses to the cornmeal to make something new and different, a cornmeal-based risen bread.
Interestingly, a 1936 recipe for the bread in The New England Cook Book, 300 Fine Old Recipes, compiled and edited by Kate Morrow by the Culinary Arts Press has a recipe called Amadama Bread, with an M instead of an N. It is listed this way in both the index and the recipe.
What is known is that according to the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Anadama bread was introduced as a brand of bread in 1850, and the first use in commerce was July 1, 1876 for Anadama Mixes, Incorporated. Around the turn of the 20th century, Baker Knowlton of Rockport, made the bread and sold his version of it in horse-drawn carts. Additionally, other 20th century bakeries made and sold Anadama bread throughout the New England region.”
What’s needed for this bread recipe?
This anadama bread could be made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The seeds in the list are all optional. You could use one seed or a combination of all there. Here is what I used to make the bread:
- sugar* for vegan, make sure you use a vegan sugar
- butter* make it vegan by using vegan butter stick
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
- poppy seeds
Is this a quick bread recipe?
No, this is not a quick bread recipe. It is made with yeast and yes, it takessss time! You have to really wait for it to rise. I sort of rushed it on the last resting period, as there was a little break in the clouds and I wanted to get at least one good photo. It is a sweet bread that has a lovely texture from the cornmeal. It is an unusual bread that I honestly can’t wait to make again! So worth the effort and a totally unforgettable bread.
What can I use in place of molasses?
Not everyone has molasses on hand. If you don’t have any in your pantry, sub it out with maple syrup or honey (equal amount). IF you use honey, this will not be considered vegan. You could also use dark syrup if you happen to have any on hand.
Are molasses vegan?
Yes, from what I have read and researched, molasses is vegan and could be used in a vegan recipe.
The theme for our baking project was Seeds.
- Anadama Bread from Savoring Italy
- Checkerboard Tangzhong Rolls from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Dusle Pull Apart Rolls with Chia, Flax and Sesame Seeds from Cheap Ethnic Eatz
- Five-Seed Loaves from blackberry eating in late september
- Molasses Multi-Seed Bread from A Baker’s House
- Poppy Seed Strudel from The Bread She Bakes
- Savory Seeded Quick Bread from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Sunflower Whole Wheat Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
What seeds are used in anadama bread?
The original recipe for anadama bread does not have seeds in it. I used what I happened to have on hand in my pantry. When I found this recipe, I was so excited because I had so many seeds on hand to use. You could totally mix this up with whatever seeds you would like. Here is what I used for the bread:
- white sesame seeds
- ground flax seeds
- ground chia seeds
- poppy seeds (I LOVE baking with poppy seeds)
Pin it to your BREAD, BAKING, COMFORT FOOD Board to SAVE for later! Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes! I am always pinning :)!
slightly adapted from
Some other delicious bread recipes to try:
- ½ cup very warm water + more for the dough
- 1 Tbsp or pkg. of active dry yeast
- ½ tsp granulated sugar
- 2 ½ cups King Arthur all-purpose flour plain flour
- 1 cup fine ground cornmeal
- 1 ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
- ¼ cup mild molasses
- 2 Tbsp softened butter or vegan butter stick
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds optional
- 2 Tbsp ground chia seeds optional
- 2 tsp. Poppy seeds optional
- 2 tsp white sesame seeds optional
- In a small bowl, add the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top and add the sugar. Gently give it a stir and let it proof (5-10 minutes until foamy).
- In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, mix all the ingredients together. Add the proofed yeast and about another 1/2 cup of water, adding the water slowly just until the dough comes together. *You could also do this by hand in a large bowl using a wooden spoon to stir all the ingredients together.
- When dough is ready, turn mixer off and remove the the dough hook. Turn the dough out onto a bread board (or a clean counter) and knead until smooth.
- Brush another large bowl with 2 teaspoons of a mild flavored oil (coconut oil would work great for this recipe).
- Form the dough into a ball and place into the oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil).
- Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).
- When dough has doubled in size, grease a loaf pan (you could use a vegan butter stick to keep this vegan/dairy-free, or use butter. I like to line my loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray). Remove the dough after the rising and form into a loaf (8" x 4" x 4").
- Place into the prepped loaf pan, cover with a towel, and allow it to rise another 45 minutes.
- Just before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375F-degrees. Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 180F-degrees internally.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit on a rack for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.