Anadama Bread is the first recipe in Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and therefore the first recipe being tackled by those participating in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. Quite a few of those participating are already onto their second recipe, some on to their third, so I’m behind already, and I just got started. πŸ™‚

If you want to see the original version of Peter Reinhart’s Anadama Bread recipe, it’s on Flour Girl’s site.

Anadama Bread, My Sourdough Version

Makes one 1 1/2-pound loaf or one 1-lb loaf and four small buns.


  • 85 grams (3 ounces) cornmeal
  • 120 grams (4 ounces) water, boiling


  • 180 grams sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 60 grams water
  • 100 grams flour


  • 250 grams flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (.19 ounce) salt
  • 45 grams jaggery
  • 14 grams (1 tablespoons or 1.2 ounce) ghee, at room temperature

Soaker Directions

  1. The evening before making the bread, make the soaker by mixing the cornmeal and water. Cover and leave overnight at room temperature.

Sponge Directions

  1. The next morning, mix the flour, sourdough starter (aka wild yeast or natural leaven), soaker, and water. Cover and let ferment until the sponge begins to bubble. (With my sourdough starter, that took around an hour and a half.)

Dough Directions

  1. Add the remaining flour, salt, jaggery, and ghee and stir until the ingredients formed a ball. At this point, I let the dough rest for 20 minutes (autolyse).
  2. Knead dough, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is tacky, not sticky. (I had to add 120 grams more than the recipe called for to get tacky, not sticky. I took a couple of breaks between kneading sessions – joint problems – and kneaded a total of 14 minutes until the dough passed the window pane test. The amount of flour listed in the ingredients section represents the total amount of flour I used.) The dough should be firm but supple and pliable and definitely not sticky.
  3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with the oil. Cover and ferment the dough at room temperature for about 90 minutes, or until doubled. (Mine was definitely doubled at 90 minutes).
  4. Divide dough and shape as necessary. I divided the dough into two pieces – 1/3 and 2/3 approximately. I’d made 1 1/2 pounds of dough, but my bread pan only fits 1 pound of dough. Shaped the smaller piece into four buns and shaped the larger piece into a loaf. Put into slightly oiled pans. Cover.
  5. Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the loaves crest fully above the tops of the pans. (Mine took 90 minutes – probably could have done it at 60 minutes, but there ya go.)
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the oven rack in the middle shelf. Mist the top of the bread dough with water.
  7. Place the bread dough in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate for even baking and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown, including along the sides and bottom, and register at least 185 degrees to 190 degrees in the center. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  8. When the loaves are done, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on a wire rack at least one hour before slicing.

Notes, Alterations, and Substitutions

Room temperature: Please note that my room temperature is usually around 30-35C / 86-95F, so I get relatively decent rise times with my sourdough starter than if it were 20C / 70F.

Sourdough: I’ve converted this recipe from commercial yeast to using wild yeast (aka sourdough or natural leaven or levain). I don’t use commercial yeast at all, ever – I don’t digest breads made with commercial yeast very well, but I have no problem with sourdough. I see no point in baking something I won’t be able to eat. πŸ™‚

I substituted the 1 teaspoon instant yeast with 180 grams of 100% hydration sourdough starter, and reduced the flour and water portions in the dough section by 90 grams respectively to keep the total flour and water levels equal.

I wasn’t sure if this was a reasonable amount or should I use more or less, but in reality, I got decent rise times, not too slow, so I’ll go with this guessed amount for now. πŸ™‚

Metric Weights: I converted the recipe to grams because it’s easier for me to work with. I don’t think well in ounces. πŸ™‚ And then I halved the recipe.

Extra flour: I’m not surprised at the amount of extra flour I had to add. Because I’m a geek, I calculated the recipe’s hydration to be about 67%, which is a fairly sticky dough in my experience. Before even starting, I figured I’d have to add extra given the instructions that the dough should be tacky not sticky. I ended up adding a total of 120 grams more flour than the original recipe called for.

Cornmeal: Can’t get corn meal or polenta here, so instead, I whir whirred some out of the popcorn I’ve got in my cupboard. Theoretically, that ought to work. πŸ™‚ Thing is, parts were still fairly coarse, so I used boiling water instead of room temperature under the theory that it’ll help soften the corn better. I’d read other people’s blog entries about making this bread who also used boiled or hot, so I should be safe. Theoretically.

Bread flour: Can’t get bread flour here, so used the standard flour that’s the only version of white flour (wheat) available here. I think the gluten percentage is around 10% – based on a new brand available that actually indicated its protein percentage at 10%.

Molasses: Can’t get molasses here, so substituting jaggery instead. Thought about doing a half & half with treacle, but didn’t have any.

Um, yup. That’s it for the substitutions. πŸ™‚

The results.

The chunks of crunchy hard corn are a problem. Really. Next time, I either have to cook the fake popcorn cornmeal until it’s completely soft (and since I know the weight of the cornmeal + water, I can add additional water as needed after cooking to compensate for water cooking off) or have more patience and grind for longer. And wear ear plugs when I do it since the annoying noise was the main reason I called it done.

Or – ooooh! I wonder if this would work! – pop the popcorn first, then grind, then add to soaker? No? Really?

I don’t have a thermometer, so no idea of internal temperature. But, at 40 minutes, were golden brown, thumped hollow, and later, munching on a bun, I declared them baked perfectly. And even later, slicing it open and making a sandwich out of it, the loaf is also declared done. Good guess! And happily, my broken oven can reach these oven temperatures without any hissy fits. πŸ™‚

Sourdough flavour is not at all overwhelming or even noticeable, but my starter is very mild and not at all sour, which is the way we like it. The sourdough gave very reasonable rise times with decently respectable amount of rises, so I’m perfectly happy with how that turned out. I even got an additional inch of oven spring – how cool is that?

The jaggery taste was not at all noticeable. The bread wasn’t at all sweet – a better descriptor would be balanced and full. If I were looking for a sweeter dough, I could add more jaggery or even sugar.

Leaving the crunchiness aside – because, yes, it really is that distracting – I like the bread. I like the rise, I like that it has the texture of a good sandwich bread, substantial enough to support a hefty sandwich, but not heavy feeling. And it has a decent, balanced taste. Not too anything. Nice.

Unfortunately, the chunky popcorn is too distracting to get more of an analysis than that. But the other thing I’m wondering is… If the popcorn were more grinded and less chunky, how much would it alter the flavour of the bread? Cuz there’s no way those chunks of crunchy popcorn were contributing to the sweetness and flavour like they would if they were normal corn meal.

Additionally, I’m submitting this post to Yeastspotting, a weekly showcase of truly drool-worthy breads. In addition to this being part of Sourdough Saturday here on my blog. πŸ˜€

Sorry. I know the bottom images aren’t workng at the moment – it’s likely a settings issue that I haven’t done, what with setting up the new blog and all. Unfortunately, it’s really late and time to go to bed, so it’ll be tomorrow before I get this fixed. πŸ™ These bottom pictures are of the entire process, beginning to end. πŸ™

ETA: The images are now working – yay! *whew!* I have a whole ‘nother problem now with subsequent entries showing up in bold. The problems, will they never end? *grins* I have an inkling I might know where that’s coming from. Here’s hoping I’m right or I’ve got even *more* work ahead of me…

[pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”cornmeal soaker” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”sponge” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”jaggery” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”shaggy dough before kneading and before additional flour added” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”anadama dough at beginning of first rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”side view, anadama dough at beginning of first rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”anadama dough at end of first rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”side view, anadama dough at end of first rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”bunned anadama dough, beginning of second rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”loafed anadama dough, beginning of second rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”side view, loafed anadama dough, beginning of second rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”loafed anadama dough, end of second rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”side view, loafed anadama dough, end of second rise” alt=””] [pg-image src=”” link=”” caption=”bunned anadama dough, end of second rise” alt=””]

15 Replies to “Anadama Bread, sourdough version”

  1. Beautiful loaf and rolls. For not being able to have access to quite a few of the ingredients you did great.
    I’ll be following your blog, πŸ™‚
    Susie in northern NY

  2. Susie, it’s comments like that that’ll net you a new best friend. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for commenting and complimenting. πŸ™‚

  3. Phyl, thank you for the compliments. πŸ˜€

    There’s very much a longer explanation, and I’ll have to post it another day. The short version of jaggery is that it’s the sap from palm trees. Kithul palms make the best treacle & jaggery, I’m told. The sap is boiled down much like maple sap is to get syrup. The liquid is called treacle. The treacle is boiled down further until it’s a fairly solid lump kind of like very wet dark brown sugar, and then it’s pressed into moulds. That’s jaggery.

  4. Thanks for ‘splainin’! I’ll have to add it to my list of “things I’ve never heard of before but now must try”!

  5. Nicole, your version turned out great, too! And I always use wild yeast. Always. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for visiting!

    Phyl, you’re welcome. πŸ™‚ I’ll do a longer post about treacle and jaggery, and I’ll include a few ways that it’s used/eaten. Including with water buffalo milk curd… πŸ˜€

    It tastes much like dark brown sugar but with a different twang.

  6. Pingback: Cornmeal & Molasses | Virtual Lee
  7. Susan, you crack me up. πŸ˜€ Yay for wild yeast indeed!

    Mary, glad I could help, even though I have no idea how or what… πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting and commenting. πŸ™‚

  8. The bread looks lovely! FYI – popcorn is a different type of corn than what is used for cornmeal, so I don’t think it will turn out the same even if you grind it well. If you can’t find cornmeal anywhere, you might be better off using another type of non-wheat flour – maybe rice or millet flour? Slightly different flavor, but less tooth-breaking! πŸ™‚

  9. Kara, that was my first thought about popcorn vs. cornmeal as well, but then I came across a bunch of people who regularly grind popcorn into cornmeal and use it in the place of, and successfully. It could be that my popcorn was dryer because it’s older or I didn’t grind enough – I don’t know. Or, yes, it could be that these other people are using another variety of corn.

    I’ve thought of using other types of grains instead of corn. I haven’t settled on anything in particular, but will likely give a few a try. The bread was good enough that it’s definitely worth experimenting with. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.