Sunday, January 22, 2012

Val's Twisted Anadama Bread

So good with soup or stew!

Winter is here.  Time for soups and stews and all that warms the body and soul.  There is a place for bread in all of this!  Here is my "twisted" version of Anadama Bread, a hearty, slightly sweet New England mult-grain bread made with cornmeal, oatmeal, and molasses.  It is the perfect accompaniment to soups and stews.


  • 1.5 cups potato water (or plain tap water)
  • 1.5 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (or other seed oil)
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or one packet)

For the glaze:  one egg beaten with one tbsp of water
For the finishing touch: sunflower seeds


If you have an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or a bread machine, just throw your ingredients together – keeping in mind your machine’s instructions – and let the machine do the kneading.

When the kneading is done, let the dough rise for about 45 min. or until it has doubled in size.  I like to cover the dough with a damp dish towel.  (If you prefer hand kneading, see my note on hand kneading in my Best Ever Polenta Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe.)

Once the dough has doubled, pour it out onto a board or countertop.  Divide the dough into two loaves.

Divide your loaf into two equal parts

Divide each of the two loaves into two parts, and roll each piece into a 12-14 inch long cylinder.  You should now have four long loaves.

Make four long loaves

Take two loaves and join them together in a twist.  Repeat for the second two loaves.

Here's the fun part!

Move the twisted loaves to a baking sheet or loaf pan.  As a precaution, I suggest lining the pan with baking paper.  This will prevent sticking (if you are planning to use the egg wash; see below).

Preheat your oven to 390 Fahrenheit (or about 200 C) and let the dough rise again.  This time it should need about 25-30 min.

Place the loaves in a baguette pan or baking sheet

Once the dough has risen, beat the egg and water together with a fork, and apply the mixture to the surface of each loaf.  Sprinkle sunflower seeds over them.

Add the egg wash and sunflower seeds

Bake the twisted loaves for 20 to 25 minutes, until they have turned a deep rich brown.  Immediately remove from the baking sheet to the cooling rack.  Let cool before slicing.


Here is a clean-up tip.  Use a plastic pastry cutter to scrape the flour from your work surface.  You will be surprised at how easily the bits come together.

Clean up is a breeze!

Stay warm and enjoy the winter, everyone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A gift of possibilities

Fabric scraps

The possibilities are endless.  That is why I love playing with colors and textures.  Each basket and bag emerges from the pieces to become a unique whole.

Sometimes fate helps in this wonder of creation.  Last month I entered Herbert Rieger’s lovely shop in Vienna.  Rieger fashions colorful clothing using sumptuous silks and delicate lace.  The fabrics are a dream!

Rieger fabrics

Silks and lace

Rieger designs and makes his clothing in a large studio in the rear of his shop.  When I saw the mounds of fabric scraps strewn throughout the workshop, my mouth dropped open and I began to salivate.  What riches!  Imagine my joy when Herbert agreed to give me a load to take home.

A gift from Herbert

I have begun to experiment with these new materials – satins and silks, lace and crepe.

I call this a Boudoir Basket.  It has a feminine look and feel.

The Boudoir Basket

Here is an interior shot...

An inside look

I also thought it would be fun to make an evening bag or clutch.  After all, the Vienna Ball Season is here!

Wear it with handles

Use it as a clutch

Here is an interior shot...

The inside view

If you are ever in Vienna, check out Herbert Rieger.  The clothes are one-of-a-kind and simply lovely.

I hope to have more of these new designs in my Etsy Shop soon.  In the mean time, I would love to hear some feedback from you...

Happy New Year!