Anadama bread is an old New England bread containing molasses, cornmeal, and oftentimes, rye. This version adds lemon zest for flavor and whole grains and seeds for chewiness. The result is a dense, sweet, chewy bread. For a less dense bread, increase the proportion of white flour and lessen the darker flours.
Folklore says this bread is called anadama for "Anna, damn her," who spilled cornmeal into her bread dough.
1Weigh dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir with a spoon to thoroughly mix.
2Measure molasses and water into a small bowl and whisk to combine.
3Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until all dry ingredients are moistened. The result will be a ragged, sticky dough.
4Cover and let rest 45 minutes. At the end of the 45 minutes, stir to redistribute yeast and remove large bubbles from the dough. Lift the spoon with each stir to stretch the dough and help develop the gluten.
5Cover and let rest 45 minutes. Thoroughly moisten a clean work space, approximately 2 feet square, with a spray bottle or your hands. Thoroughly wet your hands. Flop the dough onto the wet counter and stretch into a rectangle about 10" x 14". Pinch any remaining dry flour lumps to disperse them. Fold the rectangle in thirds. Fold the resulting rectangle in thirds again. Place the sticky rectangle of dough back in the bowl.
6Cover and let rest 45 minutes. Wet the work space and your hands. Flop the dough out onto the work space and form into a loaf, shaped blob of dough. Try to work together any seams but do not overwork the dough. Handle gently. Place in a well-buttered loaf pan or on a parchment lined baking sheet, depending on the shape of bread you desire.
7Allow shaped dough to rest 20 minutes while preheating the oven to 400F. Place the bread in the center of the oven and bake 1 hour. The bread is confirmed done if an instant read thermometer shows the interior to have reached 200F to 210F.
8Remove from the pan and cool on a rack. Optionally, rub the top of the hot bread with some butter for a rich and moist top crust. For best results, wait for the bread to cool before slicing -- although this last step may be the most difficult.