Boston Brown Bread is another one of those comfort foods that I make and even though I posted a recipe a few years ago, I've discovered a new 2-quart pudding & brown bread mold from King Arthur Flour that works so beautifully and a recipe that's easy to "throw" together.
Boston Brown Bread, James Beard wrote, "is as old as our country." It's high in fiber and low in calories and in addition to combining brown flours (rye or pumpernickel and wheat( with cornmeal, it's usually studded with raisins or dates. I have always had it with raisins, but I know some people don't like them, so I think dried cranberries would be a nice substitute. The bread is steamed, instead of baked and the reason for this is few early American homes had ovens. Cornmeal was added after Native Americans showed the early settlers how to grind it. It's typically served with a pot of baked beans (how my mom made it), but it's just as delightful with butter or cream cheese for breakfast or with afternoon tea.
Boston Brown Bread (recipe from King Arthur Flour)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup pumpernickel flour
1 cup King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup raisins (optional, but really good)
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup molasses
Mix the corneal, flours, baking soda, salt and raisins in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk and molasses and stir them into the dry ingredients.
Place the mixture in a greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan or a 2-quart pudding mold. Cover the bread pan loosely with foil and has been greased on the inside (to prevent sticking) and secure with a rubber band. Or, grease the inside lid of the pudding mold.
Place the pan, or mold in a saucepan that is deep enough (I used my canning 8-quart pan) and use crinkled aluminum foil or a stainless steel vegetable steaming insert in the bottom so the pudding is directly on the bottom of the pan. The pan should be deep enough so its lid can cover the pudding container.
Add boiling water to this pan, two-thirds of the way up the pan. Cover, bring the water back to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Steam about 2 hours (and yes, mine took almost two hours), adding water if necessary to maintain the level. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes our clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Remove the bread from the pan, and let it cool in the pudding pan (or bread loaf) for about 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan to cool a rack.
Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a day or so. Refrigerate up to several days, or freeze for up to 3 months! Ours didn't last that long:-D Enjoy!