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Anadama Rolls...earthy, comforting, traditional

Although I usually make this bread in cooler months, there are times when I simply must listen to my body and satisfy a craving!  Anadama bread is a type of  corn bread, rooted in Native American tradition; it's sweetened with molasses, which is an unrefined sweetener.  It's deep, complex...somewhat like a bitter caramel (not unlike the flavors I look for in my favorite beer).  I'm fortunate enough to have a local grain mill that has some gorgeous cornmeal, though I'd love to find some blue cornmeal to use in a future batch of Anadama bread.  Make a large, round, free-form loaf and rip off a hunk to eat with some grilled meats this summer...or wait and bring it to your autumn table and serve it with roasted meats and game.  Either way, you may find yourself craving some at the oddest times.

Anadama Bread (or rolls)
recipe (ever-so-slighty-adapted) from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois
makes 4- 1# loaves, recipe easily doubled or halved

1 1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. wheat germ
2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3 c. unbleached ap flour
1 1/2 Tbs. granulatd yeast,
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/4 c. vital wheat gluten
3 1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 c. molasses

1. Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) container.

2. Combine water and molasses and mix them with the dry ingredients w/out kneading, using a spoon, a 14-c. food processor (w/ dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (w/ paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you're not using a machine.

3.  Cover (not airtight), and allow dough to rest at room temp until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), ~2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold.  Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 7 days. 

5. On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough w/ flour and cut off a 1-lb. piece (grapefruit size). 

Dust w/ flour and quicly shape into a ball by stretching surface of dough around to bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter-turn as you go and let it rest on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal...or divide into ~12 even pieces and form balls to make rolls, putting them in a 9x13 pan, dusted with cornmeal or sprayed.

6.  Allow the formed dough to rest, loosely covered w/ plastic wrap for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you're using the dough immediately instead of from the refrigerator).  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F thirty minutes before you're ready to bake.

7. Place a baking stone on center oven rack and an empty metal broiler tray on bottom of oven. 

8.  Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top crust w/ water.  Slash the loaf w/ 1/4" deep parallel cuts, using a serrated bread knife.  I didn't actually do this with the rolls.

9.  Slide the loaf (or pan of rolls) directly onto the hot stone.  our 1 c. of hot water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door.  Bake for ~30 minutes, until richly browned and firm. Check after ~20 if making rolls.

The method that is used to make dough in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a no-knead's a great way for you to start baking your own bread if you're a bit yeast-shy.  I love the actual process of kneading, but I also like being able to keep some bread dough on hand, ready to be baked at any time in the fridge!

These Anadama Rolls have been YEASTSPOTTED!

I am also sending this to BYOB, hosted this summer by Cathy of Bread Experience...HBin5 bread braid hosted by Michele of Big Black Dog...Fight Back Friday by Kristen of Food Renegade and Wholesome Whole Foods hosted by Michelle of Health Food Lover.