When you think of cornbread, most will think of the delicious southern version that can be prepared as muffins, or prepared in a cast iron skillet to be sliced into wedges. I have fond memories of my mom who would make this type of tasty cornbread faithfully to go with our Sunday dinners.
But, there is one bread named "Anadama" that is a New England type of cornbread that is quite delicious and in my opinion doesn't get enough recognition. It's dates back to the mid 1800's and there are varying techniques and ingredients (some with yeast and some without) on how to make this vintage bread. But, some key ingredients which is consistent among recipes is cornmeal and molasses.
I recently gave this bread a spin in my kitchen over the weekend, and adapted this recipe using yeast. What's great about this simple recipe is that it requires no kneading, so you can make this bread with ease with decent results.
Anadama Cornbread Recipe -No Knead Method
My adaptions to this recipe included me swapping out the wheat germ for ground flax, which worked wonderfully for this hearty bread. In addition, I swapped out the whole wheat flour for white whole wheat, which is a little lighter in taste from my previous baking sessions.. And lastly, I used carob molasses, instead of traditional molasses as an experiment. It gave a wonderful moist texture and a less aggressive taste than traditional molasses. If you are interested in trying carob molasses, you can easily find it at any middle eastern grocer or online.
With the simplicity of this recipe and if you decide to give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised at the end result. The outside is slightly crusty with the use of cornmeal, and the interior is moist due to the addition of molasses. This bread is a winner and would be great to make during anytime of the year.
There is a saying you should not try new recipes for a holiday celebration, but in my case, this bread has already been tested, so this may make an appearance because it is so good!
Although it's debatable on the time and origins of this classic bread, I think it can be a bread made occasionally to go with meals without too much fuss, which we can appreciate when we become busy.
Overall, this is a good basic bread you will enjoy anytime of the year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Eat Good! Look Good! Feel Good!
Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator