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Recipe to Meditate With: Gold Anadama Bread

For Poolish:

2 cups boiling water

½ cup corn meal

1 T. Salt

1/3 cup honey

3-4 T. butter

5-6 cups flour total needed – divided

This is a very old method for making bread ~ you start with something called a poolish, allow that to cure for a bit before adding in more starch (in this case flour), allowing that to rise and then starting the kneading process. It doesn’t take any longer but it does enable you to take your time; no step needs to be rushed. Relax into it. Bread, the process of making, baking and savoring it, is all about connecting. Each step along the way will allow you to focus just on that step, clearing your mind of other stressors. So breathe, enjoy and don’t forget to appreciate the process. Like many other things in life, baking bread takes practice; please give yourself that gift and practice, practice, practice.

Combine butter, cornmeal, salt and honey in a bowl and allow to cool to warm, 115-119 degrees, about 20-30 minutes.

While waiting proof one packet of yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) in a bit of warm (115-119 degrees) water (1/4 cup or so.)

When the butter/corn meal mixture is at the right temperature add in the yeast. Mix and then mix in 2-3 cups of flour. The mixture will look like lumpy cake batter. Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and allow to double in bulk.

When doubled in bulk begin to stir in additional flour until you have a mass that will hold its shape, about another 2 cups of flour total. Turn out on to a well floured surface and begin to knead the dough, adding flour to prevent sticking but not more then another cup of flour, added one tablespoon at a time. This will take time so you will be kneading until the dough is “smooth and elastic.” You should be able to work with it without it’s sticking to your hands or board.

When “smooth and elastic” place in a large well buttered bowl, covering the top with wax paper that has also been buttered. When the dough is doubled, punch down, allow to rest for 3-5 minutes and then shape into 2 loaves. Place each loaf in a loaf pan that has been well buttered and cover with the same wax paper, allowing the loaves to NEARLY double. Carefully move into a COLD oven, set to 450 degrees once the bread is in. Allow to bake for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 350-375 degrees. Allow to bake for another 45-50 minutes until rich golden color on top. When done the loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom (out of the pan.)

Remove from the pan immediately and allow to completely cool before slicing. Good luck!