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Andama Bread

Between a new baby and a move, blogging about bread baking fell to the wayside. But I have been baking!

In fact I’ve gotten a few new cookbooks and have been loving their recipes. One of my new favorites is America’s Test Kitchen Bread Illustrated.* What I love about it is that there are pictures for every recipe and tips for if it doesn’t go quite right. It’s beautifully laid out and has all types of recipes. I’ve only made a few because we have a stand out favorite in our house – Andama Bread.

It disappears in days, meaning that I don’t even bother putting it in a bag to protect it from drying out.

It has a great flavor and is super easy to make. It’s not a whole wheat but it does taste a bit like one. With cornmeal and molasses it has a bit of sweetness that makes it perfect for toast, a sandwich, or a snack!

My biggest struggle with this recipe, and really all bread recipes lately, is that our house is drafty. It takes a lot longer for the dough to rise than the recipe calls for. Below I have the original times but for me I added about 1.5 hours total to the rises, about an hour to the first and 30 minutes to the second. This is just an issue with my house, especially since it’s still winter. But know that it’s okay if it needs a bit longer. I think it could have used a little longer on the second rise, but I needed to get it in the oven because life.

I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do!

 

Andama Bread

This loaf of bread is the perfect everyday bread

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk wet ingredients together in a separate bowl or large measuring cup until molasses has dissolved.

  2. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add water mixture to flour mixture. Mix until it forms a cohesive dough and no dry flour remains, scraping down sides if needed. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth, elastic, and clears sides of bowl, about 8 minutes. 

  3. On a floured surface, knead  the dough by hand for about 30 seconds and form a smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1.5 to 2 hours. 

  4. Grease a loaf pan and dust with cornmeal. Press down on the dough to deflate. Form the dough into an 8X6" rectangle. Roll dough away from you into a firm cylinder, tucking it under itself. Pinch the seam close and place load seam side down in the pan. 

  5. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise about 30 minutes to an hour or until its about 1" above lip of pan.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mist loaf with water and bake until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. 

  7. Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Bread Illustrated. 

*This blog post contains affiliate links.

Not-so-perfect Banana Bread

There is nothing better than using up super ripe bananas in banana bread. It’s one of my favorites, along with banana muffins, for a quick breakfast (once cooked of course).

So after finding every excuse to not bake (too tired, too late, it has to be in the oven for an hour and I want to go to bed) I finally realized that if I waited any longer the bananas wouldn’t be good for anything.

I pulled out my trusty Joy of Cooking for their recipe to confirm my 3 bananas would be enough and fantastic! Then came the moment of truth – were the bananas still okay? Without even checking the recipe steps I just plopped the bananas into my mixer’s bowl.

Why did the recipe steps matter? Well, I was supposed to cream the sugar and butter first, THEN add the banana and other wet ingredients. Instead I just opted to do both of those steps together. And well, it kinda worked.

It worked in that everything got mixed. But in my haste, the butter was still really cold so didn’t fully incorporate/cream with the sugar so the batter was lumpy at the end. It was the end of a long day so I just said “f*** it” and put it in the pan to bake.

The final result? Not so risen bread. Super buttery. Super delicious. But not a great loaf by any standards.

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Classic Sandwich Bread

There is just something about a classic sandwich bread. I love having toast in the morning so mastering a basic sandwich bread was key for me. I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour and have worked to make it mine.

The biggest issue I’ve had when making bread is that it breaks into pieces after I cut it. It still tasted delicious but it’s annoying for all the reasons you are thinking – buttering small pieces and not really getting a full piece for a sandwich.

That’s when I started Googling what could be going on. One of the blog posts I found said that the bread may need more protein and to look for other types of flour, including bread flour. So I decided to test out bread flour and I was quickly sold on it. Ever since I made the switch from All-Purpose Flour to Bread Flour I’ve seen a huge difference in the quality of my bread.

My breads now don’t break on themselves which is fantastic! This time around we just ate this loaf for breakfast or snacks – just cut a slice and add butter.

I think starting with a simple, classic recipe helped me try out other recipes. Plus, it’s an easy go-to as well.

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