This bread, which began with the Puritans has rye flour, that could be grown with relative ease in the cold climate, and corn (maize) which was a gift from the Native Americans. In addition to wheat and some all-purpose flour, this moist brown bread is steamed in cylinder 1-pound cans, which was the hardest thing to find. I'm not a coffee drinker, but it is the 1-pound size can you need; good luck finding it! I bought two cans, only to discover when I tried to remove the labels, the sides were cardboard, not metal. The only thing I could come close to was the 29-ounce can of canned pumpkin, which I had just used two for my pumpkin butter that I just made. I was even ambitious enough to grind my own wheat and cornmeal, which proved easier than finding the cans I needed:-D
Boston Brown Bread (adapted from Bon Appetit magazine-Nov.2012)
3 T unsalted butter, melted
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup rye flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 T baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup raisins (optional); I used 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Brush 1-pound coffee cans (or a can that will hold 1 qt. liquid=4cups) with melted butter. Cut a circle from wax paper or parchment and place in the bottom of the can. Brush the circle with additional butter.
Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add raisins (or cranberries) if using. If you were lucky to find 1-pound coffee cans, divide the batter between the two cans. Since I used the pumpkin puree cans and they didn't hold quite 4 cups of liquid, I divided the batter between 3 cans and lowered the amount of time needed to steam from 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour. The batter should not exceed coming up two-thirds of the way up.
With the remaining melted butter, brush 2 (or 3) 6-inch squares of foil, doubled and place over top of the cans, butter-side down. Press around the edges to seal, then secure with kitchen twine or I used my silicon bands to hold in place.
Place cans in a Dutch oven and pour boiling water around them, to come about 3-inches up sides of the cans.
Here's where the recipe takes a turn--usually Boston Brown Bread is steamed on top of the stove, but this recipe called for baking it in the oven! For the 1-pound cans, 1 1/2 hours; anything smaller 1 hour or less.
Bake until a skewer inserted through the foil in the center of each loaf comes out clean. Transfer loaves to a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and invert to release loaves (the wax paper/parchment circle helps it to slide out easily.)
Let cool completely. Bread can be made up to 3 days ahead and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Slice bread and serve with soft butter...or pumpkin butter, as I had mine this morning.
Now begins the Christmas season, but first I have to deal with an oven! Enjoy!