Walnut-Sage Anadama Bread

By • January 5, 2012 9 Comments

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Author Notes: Even though I have been baking professionally for 30+ years, I have never baked anadama bread. The classic recipe combines cornmeal in a loaf sweetened by molasses both of which pair nicely with walnuts and sage. Starting with the recipe from Peter Reinhart's book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, I gave it a slightly southern twang by substituting sorghum for the molasses, took it a step further by using Brinsers best roasted yellow cornmeal and then loaded the dough with toasted walnuts and freshly picked sage. The resulting loaves were the perfect foundation for sandwiches, particularly BLT's. janeofmanytrade

Food52 Review: Robust and flavorful, this is the sort of loaf that makes winter slide right by. Serve toasted under a heap of sage-flecked scrambled eggs for a breakfast of champions, or thickly slathered with salted butter alongside your favorite vegetable soup for a simple, rustic dinner. Baby, it's cold outside. Kukharka

Makes 2 (9x5x3) loaves

  • 1 cup cornmeal (I used roasted yellow cornmeal)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup sorghum or molasses
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  1. the night before you will bake the bread, combine the cornmeal and the boiling water in a bowl. mix completely, cover and allow it to sit out at room temperature until you are ready to mix the dough. peter reinhart calls this a "soaker"
  2. add the 2 cups of bread flour, the warm water and the yeast to the soaker and mix completely. allow this sponge to rise until bubbly, about an hour.
  3. add the sage, walnuts, sorghum, olive oil and salt to the sponge and stir it together. add 1 cup of the bread flour and mix to form a shaggy, sticky dough. place 1 cup of the flour on a clean work surface and turn the dough out on top of the flour. begin to knead the dough adding additional flour as needed to make a soft, elastic dough, about 10 minutes.
  4. place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it. allow it to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours. punch the dough down, divide it in half and shape it into two loaves by flattening the dough into a rectangle and rolling it up so that the cylinder is the same length as the pan. oil the pans, place the loaves into the pans and brush the tops of the dough with a small amount of oil and allow them to rise so that they come just above the top of the pans.
  5. preheat the oven to 350. bake the loaves until brown and sound hollow when you turn the loaf out and tap the bottom, about 45 minutes. be sure to turn the loaves half way and to ensure doneness, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature; 185-195 is the desired range. turn out of the pans and allow to cool on a rack completely before slicing.

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Comments (9) Questions (1)


about 1 month ago Kate Fernstrom

I used to work for a baker (30 years ago) that made Anadama bread. Best bread for sandwiches, toast. Delicious.


about 1 year ago CECILIA

could i use spelf flour or quinoa flour instead of unbleashed bread flour?


about 1 year ago CECILIA



over 2 years ago Mimiskitchen

Makes excellent grilled cheese


over 3 years ago DeWitt Whittington

I just tried this recipe and, although the texture and overall taste of the two loaves was rather good, I was terribly disappointed that the sage flavor didn't come through. I chopped the sage rather coarsely and I put in twice as much as called for. Even then, unless I bit down on a piece of the sage itself, I couldn't taste it. I've had similar results with other recipes which call for fresh sage. What's gong on? My other taste tester here, Janet, was also disappointed in the almost total lack of sage flavor. And yet, the fresh sage I bought smelled marvelous.


over 3 years ago jtrueblood

What exactly is roasted cornmeal? Something you buy, something you roast yourself? If DIY, how does one roast it?


over 3 years ago ruzyreez

i was wondering the exact same question! someone help us! i so wanna try this recipe but i'm not sure what roasted cornmeal is :P


over 3 years ago janeofmanytrade

roasted cornmeal is a product from haldeman mills of pennsylvania. it is sold as brinser's best cornmeal and it is basically toasted yellow cornmeal. it gives it a little color and a deeper flavor. the good news is that it isn't hard to find if you shop online and if you have stores near you that carry a large assortment of amish goods-that is a good place to look too. however, you could use any kind of cornmeal to make this-white, yellow, blue or red(as long as it is natural red cornmeal; the dyed stuff would give the loaf an odd color). you could also toast your own in the oven or in a skillet on the stove just as you would toast nuts.


over 3 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

Bread looks amazing; with a BLT, yes or chicken salad. Decadent sandwich bread.