Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Traditional Boston Brown Bread


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.
When I made this a few years ago, I searched everywhere for coffee cans to make the bread that my mother would make.  I discovered the 1 quart coffee cans were now heavy cardboard with a plastic lid!  Short of going to a Costco and buying a large can of something to make it, I haven't made it since then.

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!

15 comments:

  1. That looks so good! As a vegetarian who loves home made baked beans, that looks a great addition to include extra protein to some beans, as you suggest it is a good pairing. I wonder if I could make it in my Bundt pan, with the hole blocked with foil?
    ~~~Deb in Wales

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    1. Stuff aluminum foil in the hole...10-cup would be better, as the 12-cup maybe hard to find a pan to submerge it in.

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  2. That turned out perfect, Susan. I love the moist crumb.

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  3. I agree with Deb, I wonder if you could use a bundt pan? It's a beautiful bread and a neat mold you have there. xoxo ♥

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  4. Darling Susan...you never fail to inspire me! I so wish you would open your own bakery and hire me!

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    1. My lovely friend, I would just love that and you could do the decorating with your eye for detail!

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  5. I've always loved a nice heavy bread like this. When my boys were growing up a made a similar bread and served it toasted and dipped in warm milk as Milk Toast...they loved it and still do! Hugs!

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  6. And it tastes wonderful toasted as well! I have an old-fashioned bread pan that hinges that I used to make brown bread in.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the suggestion...you're right!

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  7. Another recipe to add to my files:0) I love the pan, will be looking for one of them. Used my new apron today making cookies!! Hugs

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    1. Thank you. I bet those cookies tasted great; what kind did you bake?

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  8. I have never tried Boston Brown Bread, but it looks amazing. Where do you get pumpernickel flour?

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    1. Grocery stores or you can order it from King Arthur Flour. You can also use medium Rye Flour which is more readily available in the flour section--Bob's Red Mill is one brand.

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  9. My grandmother used to make Boston Brown Bread but i have never made it. I think I will give it a try.

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