Have you ever heard of Anadama Bread? If not, then I feel much better cuz until the other day, I hadn't either.
Have you ever heard of Tate's Bake Shop? I hadn't until very recently. And now I wish there was one around the corner from my house.
The people over at Tate's Bake Shop were wonderfully sweet enough to send me a cookbook and 3 boxes of cookies. And I have thought of little else ever since I received my package of goodies. I was so excited to get it that when I got home from work the other day I did not change into my sweats and a tshirt, go through the mail, and start dinner as soon as I walked in the door. No. I did not take off my shoes, poor myself a glass of wine and go through my email either. Instead I grabbed a paper cutter (aka, kitchen knife) and tore open that box and oooh'd and aaaaah'd over my gorgeous Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook
and lovingly placed the 3 boxes of cookies in a place of honor (center of my kitchen table) awaiting the moment when I could fully examine the contents and flavors of each box.
Then, and only then did I resume my nightly rituals, with much haste. You see, I had a cookbook to examine and explore and devour. And cookies to savor.
Soo...before I get any further here, let me announce the winner of my last giveaway....the one where I promised some lucky
Michelle from BigBlackDogs.net
Which is personally exciting for me (maybe not as exciting as it is for her since she now gets to spend $50.00 any way she wants from CSN Stores) but she happens to be the fearless leader of the online bread baking group that I've been participating in. It is because of this group, the wonderful leadership and fantastic members that I have enjoyed making bread so much with such joyful success. So...Congrats Michelle...and thank you for all you do!
And now back to what I was saying....
Tates and cookies. Cookies and Tates. I spent that first night, tucked away in my bed with my favorite blanket (yes, I have a favorite blanket. Yes, I know I'm an adult. And yes, I am admitting to this to all who happen to stop by), and read the Foreward, Preface and Acknowledgments of my new, autographed coobook. (How cool is this? My very first ever autographed cookbook!) I was on the hunt. What will I bake first? Cookies? Muffins? Scones?....a pie.....crisp or cobbler? What about a cake! Or even something healthy...whew....then the magic chapter spoke to me....(you see, this cookbook has all of these wonderful choices in it)...and it also has BREAD!!! I know...I bake bread. All. The. Time! But what I bake is no-knead bread. I figured it would be fun to make a kneady bread. You know? Something new and different.
One of the cute things that I enjoyed reading in this cookbook were the little paragraphs where Kathleen King gives a little story behind the recipe. When I came across Anadama Bread, it wasn't the name that got me. Although I have to admit it did catch my attention. But it was the story behind it that touched me. It became special to me instantly. And I knew that this was the recipe I needed to make. I don't think that I would've chosen it just based on the ingredients or on the fact that it's bread. It's the connection. The memories, the flavors, and aromas. And sometimes how it all links the past with the present.This is the kind of stuff that makes baking and cooking so wonderfully loving...an extension of who we are...and a way of sharing all that with others.
Anadama Bread. There is another story behind this bread that has nothing to do with Tate's Bake Shop or Kathleen King. A legend of sorts....a rather cute one at that. It's easy enough to find online so if you're intrigued...Google it. :)
As for the recipe....
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast (or 2 - 1/4 ounce packages)
1/2 cup warm water
7 - 8 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the boiling water and cornmeal. Add the butter, molasses and salt. Stir until combine and butter has melted. Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm.
I was loving this deep rich color instantly! A promise of great flavors to come.
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add to the lukewarm molasses mixture. Add the flour....enough to make it into a stiff dough. Lightly flour your board or counter (or where ever you plan on kneading this dough. Remember? I said it was a kneady dough) and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. That means....that its going to give, not tear when you stretch and work the dough. This will probably take you at least 10 minutes. Form it into a ball
Then place it into a large, greased bowl. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until it has doubled in size
Punch down the dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 and shape into an oblong, then place each into it's own 9x5x3 greased loaf pan. Brush the tops with a little oil, cover again and allow to rise...until doubled in size.
One of the ways I check to make sure the dough is done rising, is I take 2 fingers and stick them into the dough about 1/2 inch. If the dough springs back when I remove my fingers, then it still needs some rising time. If the indent remains, then it's ready to bake
Now...the indent should bounce back after a minute or so...or, at least it usually does. But this time it didn't. I think I left them to rise a bit too long. I had gone to the grocery store and it took longer than I intended. Then I realized I hadn't preheated my oven...so the loaves had to wait yet some more.
Preheat the oven to 375' F (probably a good thing to do shortly after the second rise begins). Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until the center is about 205' (when inserted with an instant read thermometer).
Remove from the pans immediately and allow to cool on a wire rack.
And yes...I did allow my loaves to rise too long. Proof is in the crust....see? My finger indents are STILL there.
But no worries....because it's all about the flavor...and the crumb and ooooh eeeem geeee.
This is some damn good bread! It's not too sweet...the flavor isn't strong, it's just....nice. It's soft, and yummy. I will be making this again. I might even try a whole wheat version of it, with a little vital wheat gluten. I think it just might be the loaf that comes close to Sir Sportsalots favorite....Roman Meal.
After my successful bread experience, I rewarded myself with some Tate's cookies! And what a reward. I know some people like ooey gooey soft cookies. Some like crisp firm cookies. And I say, they all have their place. I enjoy the ooey gooey when they're hot out of the oven. But if I'm not getting them fresh out of the oven, I enjoy the crunch. The satisfaction of a good crisp cookie (not hard)....the kind that soak up that dip in the cold glass of milk. If you're on the same page as me here....you are sure to love Tate's Bake Shop cookies! Earlier I mentioned that I received 3 boxes of cookies: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Macadamia Nut. And I enjoyed all three. My favorite though is a toss up between the chocolate chip and the oatmeal raisin. You can smell them before they even get to your mouth. If the cookies didn't arrive in a box, I would've thought they were homemade. (By the way....the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookie is in the cookbook.)
How would you like to win your very own Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook AND your very own 3 boxes of cookies?! The people over at Tate's are going to send all that to one lucky winner!!
Offer only good in the U.S.
Giveaway ends Monday, December 13th, 2010 at Midnight, PST. Winner will be announced Tuesday or Wednesday.
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FOR EVERYONE: For all you foodies out there, if you purchase anything from Tate's Bake Shop, NOW through 12/31/2010, you will save 15% off by entering the discount code "cookie" on your order. How cool is that?!
I want to thank Kathleen King and the people at Tate's Bake Shop for giving me the opportunity to review their cookbook and experience their incredible cookies!
This is my entry for the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop this week!