There are many versions of how this bread came into being. They're all similar,
but each varies slightly. The general consensus is that a New England woman named
Anna provoked her husband some say through laziness, others say from baking the
same bread daily, or for not finishing her bread-baking. The husband either threw
a bag of cornmeal at her and missed, but spilled it into the dough; or he grabbed
cornmeal instead of flour and tried to finish her bread. He muttered, "Anna, damn
The story's origin may be confused, but this simple loaf of flour, cornmeal,
yeast, and molasses has graced New England kitchens for years. This hearty bread
is great for sandwiches, and good with any number of soups.
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup King Arthur Premium or King Arthur 100%
White Whole Wheat Flour*
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
* Some variations of this bread include rye flour. Substitute 1/2 cup white rye
flour for 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour, if desired.
Whisk together the cornmeal and salt.
Add the butter and molasses to the bowl.
Pour in the boiling water, stirring until the butter has melted and the
mixture is smooth. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, about 15 minutes.
Mix in the dry milk, flours, and yeast. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes;
this gives the flours and cornmeal a chance to absorb the liquid.
Knead the dough for about 7 minutes at medium speed of a stand mixer, until
it's smooth. It'll be quite stiff, but still fairly sticky on the surface. Cover
the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's just about doubled, about 1 hour.
Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log
in an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan, and let the dough rise until
the center has crested at least 1" above the lip of the pan, about 90 minutes.
Towards the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted
into the center registers at least 190 degrees F. You may want to tent the bread
loosely with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes of baking, if you prefer
a lighter crust.
Yield: 1 sandwich loaf
Recipe and photo credit (used with permission):
King Arthur Flour