Sometimes, my geek worlds collide in ways that only make sense in the perfect sanctity of my own mind. Every time I see a recipe for Anadama Bread, I can’t help picturing an octagonal loaf threatening raspberry jelly eyed cylons with it’s deliciousness.
It gets better. Anadama bread is an 18th century recipe. One (dubious) culinary legend behind its creation tells of a Captain whose beloved Anna was renowned for her cornmeal and molasses bread. When she died before him, he inscribed her tombstone with the words, “Anna was a lovely bride, but Anna, damn ’er, up and died.” Her recipe became known as Anadama, because who needs consonants?
How am I, a Battlestar Galactica fan, supposed to resist something with Adama in the name inspired by a ship’s commander who made it to his final port only to lose the love of his life? Heck, the bread itself is practically the texture and color of Commander Adama’s face. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top for his hair, shove a pair of old glasses in the loaf, and I’m ready for a BSG marathon.
Bill A(na)dama’s Breakfast Bread
2/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp yeast
2 2/3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp melted or room temperature butter (plus extra for glazing)
3 tbsp light molasses
½ cup powdered sugar
By the lords of Kobol, let this bread nourish and replenish us. Begin by mixing the yeast in the warm water. Leave it alone for 15 minutes to foment rebellious plans. When you return, show the yeast who’s really in charge by integrating it with the salt, molasses, and butter. Toughen it up by adding the cornmeal and flour.
Knead everything together for 10 minutes of basic gluten training. Once you’re exhausted, cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for an hour while you rest.
When you come back, deflate the dough’s ego with a single criticism. Or just punch it. Either way, roll the dough up into a rough loaf shape and put it in a nicely greased pan. Much like a civilian rebellion, let it think it has the freedom to rise up once again.
In the next 40-60 minutes it should double in size. Paint the top with extra melted butter and bake it at 375F for 30-35 minutes, or until a dark golden brown.
As soon as you take the loaf out of the oven, sift a generous layer of powdered sugar on top.
Let it cool completely before cutting.
Cut off the corners to make octagonal slices. Serve toasted, in honor of Commander Adama’s complexion, with blueberry jelly for the BSG uniforms.
So say we all.
Honestly, this really does make a hearty breakfast bread. If you want to make it a little more filling and fibrous, substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the nutrient-free bread flour. It’s just as good as the original, only darker and grittier. If you want a lighter, fluffier bread that rises higher, use 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal and 3 cups bread flour.