Cornmeal Molasses Bread – part 2

Since the result from the bread machine in Cornmeal Molasses Bread – part 1 was reasonably acceptable I decided to make a full size loaf and bake it in the oven to get a better idea of where to go next. The goal is a good loaf of Anadama Bread, not just a somewhat recognizable one.

So I made a full size batch of dough using the same formula as in part 1 in the bread machine to bake in the oven.







 

The left photo shows the dough in the bread machine after it has been mixed and kneaded and before the bulk fermentation (first rise) has started. There is dough stuck to the side of the pan that didn’t stay attached to the main ball of dough that surrounds the paddle in the bottom of the bread machine’s pan. In the initial mixing stage it took a lot more scraping the side of the pan with a rubber spatula to get all the ingredients into the mix.

The right photo shows the dough at the end of the 90 minute dough cycle in the bread machine. The dough has risen nicely, and the 93 or 94 F temperature that the bread machine maintains to encourage the yeast to grow has dried out the thin layer of dough that was on the wall of the machine at the start of the bulk fermentation part of the dough cycle.

The ingredients for this loaf are listed below by weight. They go into the bread machine pan in the order listed. The salt needs to go in at the edge of the pan so it does not come into direct contact with the yeast. The yeast goes into a depression made in the top of the flour so it is separate from the salt until the machine starts mixing.

  • Molasses 69 grams
  • Water 358 grams
  • Cornmeal 85 grams
  • Bread Flour 467 grams
  • Sugar 23 grams
  • Salt 5 grams
  • Bread Machine Yeast 5 grams

I have seen Anadama Bread dough described as tacky but not sticky. This formula gave sticky, so there is too much water in the mix. I suspect two things that have probably contributed to this. Switching molasses for honey and corn meal for quick oats in the oatmeal reccipe. The molasses probably has more water in it than the honey. Pouring the molasses out of the bottle the viscosity is much lower than the honey’s. The cliche is “slower than molasses” but the honey pours a lot slower. The other thing is that the corn meal probably soaks up less water than the quick oats.







 

The dough in the pan is not formed into a very nice loaf before the proof rise in the left picture. The dough was really sticky and didn’t hold its shape all that well. As a result I didn’t so much form a loaf to go into the pan as squeeze the blob into sort of a loaf shape, put it in the pan, and then push it around so it was sort of even in the pan.

The right picture above shows the proofed dough. It looks better than I expected and rose nicely.







 

Before and after baking are shown here. At the end of proofing is on the left, and out of the oven is on the right. There was some spring from the heat of the oven, but not a lot.




The loaf on the cooling rack looked good. It baked 60 minutes at 300 F. When it came out of the oven the probe thermomter said that the temperature at the center of it was 208 F, indicating that it was cooked all the way through.




After cooling long enough to get back to room temperature the bread sliced nicely and had a good color. It had a good flavor and toasted nicely, but there is room for improvement.




Looking closely at the end of the loaf after a couple of slices have been taken off the flaws show up. The color is not even, and neither it the texture. This suggests to me that the paddle on the bread machine was not big enough to thoroughly mix the sticky volume of dough. And if it was not big enough to mix it, it probably didn’t knead it well enough either.

The results here are good enough to enjoy eating, but not good enough for me to label them acceptable Anadama Bread. Will try again with the bread hook and changes to get a tacky not sticky dough.

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