At a Glance

15 mins. to 20 mins.
35 mins. to 40 mins.
3 hrs 35 mins. to 4 hrs 20 mins.
1 loaf
There are many versions of how this bread came into being. They're all similar, but each varies slightly. The general consensus is that a New England woman named Anna provoked her husband — some say through laziness, others say from baking the same bread daily, or for not finishing her bread-baking. The husband either threw a bag of cornmeal at her and missed, but spilled it into the dough; or he grabbed cornmeal instead of flour and tried to finish her bread. He muttered, "Anna, damn her!"

The story's origin may be confused, but this simple loaf of flour, cornmeal, yeast, and molasses has graced New England kitchens for years. This hearty bread is great for sandwiches, and good with any number of soups.
Volume Ounces Grams

  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water*
  • 1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Premium or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or white rye flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • *Use the greater amount of water in the winter, or under dry conditions; the lesser amount in summer, or when it's humid out.


  1. Whisk together the cornmeal and salt.
  2. Add the butter and molasses to the bowl.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in the dry milk, flours, and yeast. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes; this gives the flours and cornmeal a chance to absorb the liquid.
  5. Knead the dough for about 7 minutes at medium speed of a stand mixer, until it's smooth. It'll be somewhat stiff, but still fairly sticky on the surface. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's just about doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Place the log in an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. (Want to bake a round loaf? See "tips," below.) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise until the center has crested at least 1" above the lip of the loaf pan, about 90 minutes.
  7. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until a digital thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F. You may want to tent the bread loosely with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes of baking, if you prefer a lighter crust.

Tips from our bakers

  • Some variations of this bread include rye flour. Substitute 1/2 cup white rye flour for 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour, if desired.
  • For a round loaf, as pictured above, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven.