Sunday, November 29, 2009

ANNA DAMN HER or Anadama Rolls - the Return of the Master Baker

Continuing my TURDUCKEN adventures, as well as my "I CAN COOK THAT" series of stealing recipes from some of my favorite bloggers, today marks the return of the MASTER BAKER (I need a tongue in cheek irony font when I write that)! This recipe was stolen from MARY at ONE PERFECT BITE. Long time readers remember Mary from a tribute post I did with a terrible result (mulled wine). She is one of my favorite bloggers, and I was very excited to see this recipe for Anadama Rolls. My Turducken party took place only 4 days prior to Thanksgiving. When planning my menu, I wanted traditional items done with just enough of a twist that my guests would not experience redundant menus. these rolls were perfect...

Oh... wait...

For a change, Mary missed an opportunity to do a food history lesson... In preparing this post, I did a quick Internet search for the origins of this food.

ANADAMA is a traditional bread of New England made with white flour, cornmeal, molasses and sometimes (not this time) rye. But, there is a legend surrounding the rolls...

From - This is truly a "bit" of Rockport, MA, for Anadama Bread originated in this town many years ago. This is the true story of a local fisherman whose lazy wife always gave him steamed corn meal mush and molasses for dinner. One day when he came in from fishing, he found the same corn meal mush and molasses for dinner and being very tired of it, he decided to mix it with bread flour and yeast and baked it saying,

"Anna Damn Her."
The bread was so delicious that his neighbors baked it calling it Anadama Bread.

So, Not willing to ever leave well enough alone, I am going to reprint Mary's recipe for Anadama Rolls, followed by what I did to change them forever to my ANNA DAMN HER Rolls...

Here's what she did...

Anadama Rolls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1 cup whole milk

1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup warm water

1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons)dry yeast

4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg, beaten to blend

2 teaspoons sesame or poppy seeds

Directions: 1) Bring milk, 1 cup water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook until mixture thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in molasses and 2 tablespoons butter. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Cool until thermometer inserted into center of mixture registers 115°F, whisking often, about 15 minutes.
2) Pour 1/2 cup warm water into small bowl; sprinkle yeast over. Let stand until yeast dissolves and top looks spongy, about 10 minutes. Stir yeast mixture into cornmeal mixture. Gradually mix in 4 cups flour, about 1 cup at a time, to form soft dough that pulls away from sides of bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour onto work surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, sprinkling with more flour by tablespoonfuls if needed, about 10 minutes (dough will remain slightly sticky). Form dough into ball. Coat a large bowl with butter or shortening. Add dough to bowl and turn to coat dough with butter or shortening. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
3) Punch down dough. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes. Coat each of two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with butter or shortening. Roll dough into 18-inch-long log. Cut into 18 equal pieces. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into ball. Place 9 dough balls in each pan, spacing apart. Cover each pan loosely with towel. Let rolls stand in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Brush rolls with egg glaze. Sprinkle with seeds. Place rolls in oven and immediately reduce temperature to 350°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature. Wrap rolls in foil and rewarm in 350°F oven 10 minutes.) Serve warm. Yield: 18 rolls.

And here's what I did...

As always, assemble your ingredients... I did use molasses, but did not include it in the photograph. The first thing I altered was to use buttermilk instead of whole milk. I also used dark molasses instead of light. I used buttermilk because I like buttermilk. I used Dark Molasses because I use that in my baked bean recipe, and I had it on hand... OK, I used it because I am cheap.

And look at the fun of using yeast again... But then, with one whole recipe for bread, and a recipe for hot pockets that uses yeast, I have no fear! Well, really, my hands were shaking when I poured the milk... But soldiering on...

But, other than those small changes, I followed her directions to the letter...

And then, I really started screwing around with the recipe. I happen to love the taste of toasted garlic on bread. So, instead of seeds, I added some coarsely chopped GARLIC!!! I also sprinkled some kosher salt on the top (again, I just like the taste of salt on the top of bread). I always gently mash the garlic into the tops just a bit so they are more likely to stick to the dough (even with an egg wash).

And, with the garlic, salt and Molasses flavors really shining through, this was a great roll. Certainly not likely to be served on many Thanksgiving tables, but they ought to be. They were a huge hit. I got requests for the recipe, so possibly this will be added to a few of my friends tables. Really, Really, Really good!

So.. (THA TA TATA), I present my newly created award to Mary at ONE PERFECT BITE

To this wonderful blogger, and remind her of the simple rules...
1) Take inspiration from or outright steal a recipe from a fellow blogger
2) Actually make the item, or make a close copy of the item
3) Blog about your efforts, giving proper credit and links to the inspiree
4)If you receive the award, be honored, as there is no greater feeling than having your efforts not just recognized, but duplicated! That is the only real rule, is to feel honored. BUT, feel free to post this in your side bar and to pass it on to one of your favorite bloggers which you have made one of their recipes.

But wait, there's a bit more to this story...

The clean up from my 13 guest, 9 course TURDUCKEN dinner took almost as long as it did to cook it. Bloated and stuffed, my lovely (well, not in this picture, but she cleans up nice) and talented wife worked for a couple hours getting our kitchen back to normal before going to bed. Take a close look at that photo... She loves me, but at that moment, I was not her favorite person...

BUT, next morning, a couple left over ANNA DAMN HER Rolls, a little toasting, a little butter and some honey... A little quick breakfast in bed snack before she went off to that inconvenient job thing of hers...

And her mood changed... Isn't she glowing in the morning... I wake up to this every day!



  1. You did me proud :-). Your rolls look and sound delicious. I'm also very pleased with the award. It's a great way to start the day.

  2. The rolls look delicious! What I really want to know is were you standing on the kitchen counter when you took the photo of your wife cleaning the kitchen? Did you also have a lampshade on your head? ;-)

  3. I like your wife, she's a great sport. "One Perfect Bite" is the blog that I've saved the most recipes from. You said the other day yours was Little Teochew, Which by the way, I have now subscribed to.

  4. I love it when you become Master Baker;-) You have been turning out some mighty fine baked breads.

  5. Terrific looking rolls and a great story behind them!

  6. The rolls look like something I am going to have to try. You wife is a saint to allow you to post pictures of her in the late hours.

  7. Firstly I must say you guys are the sweeeetest couple ! Secondly why do husbands have to make such a mess when they cook ? hubs is just like that...he is brilliant at cooking but can never ever keep things tidy like i do...hmpph...anyways...those buns look incredible... & the veridct is fina can bake just as incredibly as you grill!

  8. Well, of course she's glowing, homemade breakfast rolls in bed. I am so envious.

  9. Such a funny post! I love your new name for this bread! Also, I think your photo with your laptop is funny because I do the same thing at times while I'm in the kitchen. It's lovingly covered with flour, batter and other cooking stickiness. :D

  10. Hilarious, she did look like she was ready to push that chair or ladder that you were standing on, out from under you at that moment:)

  11. Those are lovely looking Anadama Rolls! Doing all that clean-up she deserved a little breakfast in bed :)

  12. Those rolls look fabulous and I would love a few right now! Great story, too, cher! I don't blame her for "passing you a pair of eyes"! (Cajun for "giving you the evil eye") lol And thanks for the introduction to Mary, too!

  13. I just adore Marys blog also. you did a great job recreating her rolls.

  14. Those rolls look yummy! I love that you included the story behind them and the sweet words about your supportive and glowing wife.

  15. You and your wife sound like an adorable pair. Who wouldn't like to be written about with such love. Does that make up for the mess?

  16. Dave, you continue to rise to new heights with your bread baking skills. Been a New Englander my entire life and never knew that the anadama bread was created in Rockport, MA. All this time I thought it was a southeastern speciality. What you can't learn on blogs. Your wife is just so lovely; what a gem she is.

  17. Is it weird that yeast breads make me incredibly excited? I was practically jumping up and down while reading this. A new bread for me to try!

    Thanks for the history of the bread. I always find it fun to get a background story.

    The garlic on top and the buttermilk are both genius ideas!

  18. Never heard of it until now, but looks and sounds great!