Cornmeal Molasses Bread – part 1

For a first attempt at make the Anadama Bread I remember as a kid growing up in New England I took the formula from the previous posts for Oatmeal Bread and siwtched some ingredients. Unsulfered Blackstrap Molasses for honey and Yellow Cornmeal for Quick Oats. Since I wasn’t sure that the result would be very good I decided to let the bread machine do the entire job. That way I invested less effort into it than if I baked it in the kitchen oven.




The recipe I was using to mix the oatmeal bread in the bread machine before baking it in the oven resulted in a loaf that was almost a kilogram (2.2 pounds) which is a little too much for my 2 pound bread machine. So I cut back on the formula and used proportionally less of all the ingredients to come up with a loaf that would fit the pan of the bread machine.

As the photo above of the just baked loaf in the machine shows, this recipe is a good fit for baking in the machine.

 

  • Molasses 52 grams
  • Water 269 grams
  • Cornmeal 64 grams
  • Bread Flour 350 grams
  • Sugar 18 grams
  • Salt 5 grams
  • Bread Machine Yeast 4 grams




Here’s another photo of the loaf in the pan, this time out of the bread machine. As you can see, the pan is almost full, but not right up to the top. Sometimes the bread will rise a little more than others in the machine, even with the same ingredients. Leaving a bit at the top like this is a safety margin to be extra sure that the bread doesn’t overflow the pan if it puffs up a little more than normal.




The loaf looks good on the cooling rack. The proportions are off compared to the typical store loaf or bread pan loaf. That’s because the bread machine has a paddle in the middle of the bottom that mixes and kneads the bread. The pan can’t be as long and thin as needed to make a standard shape loaf and still mix the whole the pan with the paddle. The first bread machine we had (25 or 30 years ago?) made a loaf that was a cylinder. It was not even close to the machines available now in terms of making bread. We didn’t even bother to bring it when we moved to Florida.

The light colored stripe on the side of the loaf is there because the bread was mixed, kneaded, and baked all in the same pan. When the bread first was mixed that’s where it was up against the pan before it started to rise. Nothing ever disturbed it until the finished loaf came out of the pan, when it shows up as a discoloration on the side. Sometimes one of the lower corners will have some flour the didn’t get mixed in on it. They look funny but usually will pop right off if you don’t feel like eating them. After the machine has been running a few minutes the dough will all be in a ball around the paddle. At that point I use a small rubber spatula to scrape all the flour out of the corners so it gets into the big ball of dough the paddle is kneading. After that you can just let the machine do its thing and the corners should come out fine.




This shows the paddle in the bottom of the pan after the baked bread has been taken out to cool. You can see the bread that is stuck to it, leaving a hole in the bottom of the loaf. Sometime the paddle slides off the stud it sits on in the bottom of the pan, and sometimes it gets glued to the stud by the baking dough. (It will come right off after a few minutes soak in water.) If it comes off it’ll be in the bottom of the loaf. Don’t forget to get it out of the bread before you slice it. I’ve got a mark on the top of my paddle from where I tried to slice it.




When the paddle sticks in the machine you need to shake the pan to get the loaf out, and it tears a hole in the bottom of the bread. When the paddle stays in the bread you need to carefully pry it out. That gives you a much neater hole in the bottom of the bread, but you still have a hole.




Here are a couple of slices through the hole in the bottom of the loaf. The notches in the bottom are an irritation, but they usually are only in a couple of the slices, depending on which way the paddle stopped when it was done kneading. The hole from the paddle is a small price to pay for the convenience of letting the machine do all the work.




The loaf sliced up nicely, and the bread was a lot better than I expected for a first try at getting the formula for Cornmeal Molasses Bread by just switching ingredients from the Oatmeal formula. I had a couple slices toasted with peanut butter for lunch and enjoyed them. I’ll try a few changes to see if I can get it to come out better in the future, and next time I’ll bake it in the oven so I can make a bigger loaf.

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