"corn meal" news and stories
I love going through my baking books and looking at all the recipes that I'd like to try. I work a lot and have a pretty busy life right now so I'm not baking at home very much, but I can still fantasy bake. Recently, I have been salivating over the recipe for Anadama bread in Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Bakers Apprentice". Next time I actually get time to do some baking, I'm going to make this.
Anadama is a New England tradition. Most people agree that it's name comes from some poor farmer or fisherman who was cursing his wife, Anna. Either his wife left him or only fed him corn gruel and molasses; either way, he mixed the corn gruel and molasses with yeast and flour to make bread while muttering "Anna, damn her" the whole time. According to legend, the name of the bread comes from a gentler version of the curse on Anna.
Have any of you tried Anadama bread? I'm a sucker for anything with molasses in it, but I'd love to hear any of your stories. For those of you who would like to try it, you can find a recipe here.
One of the breads I make on a regular basis at work is a jalapeño sandwich bread. It gets used for mainly for canapés and toast points for barbecue. I love making it because of the wonderful spicy aroma and the pleasant heat it has. Of course the recipe that I make is industrial sized, using three pounds of peppers making it not particularly good for home use.
However, I was recently reminded of this HI-Rise Corn Bread from one of my favorite baking books, Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking. The recipe doesn't originally have jalapeños, just fresh corn and stone ground corn meal. I usually add the peppers, though, if I make this recipe at home because the heat and the corn go so well together. Maggie's recipe is after the jump, but I definitely recommend getting her book if you're interested in baking as it's a really great read and very helpful. I always love the results from this bread, the sweet corn and heat just make the best sandwiches. Toast the slices to really bring out the aroma.
It's no secret that I have all kinds of contempt for Sandra Lee. I won't go into my usual rant about how weird it is that her Chanel-quilted headband always matches her too-tight cashmere deep V-neck sweater, matches the drapes in her "kitchen," matches her potholders (oh wait, I just went into it!), because really, that just makes me sound like a jealous little you-know-what.
I will, however, say that as much as I am not fond of her, I do appreciate the philosophy of semi-homemade. Life moves pretty fast, and there are times when you just have to resort to using the $0.69 box of Jiffy cornbread mix because you don't have time to grow corn in your backyard, harvest the corn, shuck it, cut it, dry it, and do whatever else you're supposed to do to make cornmeal.
So I didn't actually even cheat. It wasn't like I was trying to make cornbread and had to use a mix out of convenience in the last minute. I actually have a recipe for this Sweet Corn Casserole/Cake/Bread/Souffle/Thing (I'm not quite sure what it is, and have no idea from where I copied the recipe a bazillion years ago) that specifically calls for the boxed mix as one of the ingredients. When I make it, I almost feel a little dirty.
But only until it cools and I eat it.
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