Boston Brown Bread
February 17, 2012

by stacy
Published on: February 17, 2012
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“This is as American as any food can be because it was created by our early settlers as an accompaniment for Boston baked beans.  It has a delicious personality of its own.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

The hardest part about Boston Brown Bread was finding a metal coffee can to bake it in.  In 1973, when Beard on Bread was published, they were commonplace; today, the coffee aisle is a sea of plastic.  My mother managed to track down a two pound metal coffee can at Wal-Mart for me so that the project could continue (thanks, Mom!)

Here are the ingredients:

Boston Brown Bread Ingredients

Since I couldn’t find rye meal, I used rye flakes that had been run through the food processor.

Boston Brown Brown is simple to prepare: you just mix the ingredients together and pour into a well-greased coffee can.

Boston Brown Bread Before Baking

The next step is to steam your bread.  After covering the coffee can with foil, I placed a small can upside down in a stock pot and set the coffee can filled with batter on top.  Next, I filled the stock pot with enough water to reach halfway to the top of the coffee can.

Boston Brown Bread Baking Set Up

I covered the stock pot, turned the stove up to medium-high, and let it boil, replenishing the water a few times to ensure that the level remained even.

After two hours, my bread was finished.

Boston Brown Bread

It ended up somewhat lopsided, because the boiling water knocked the small can underneath the coffee can to its side and the coffee can was at a tilt.  However, it did cook evenly throughout.

Boston Brown Bread

Boston Brown Bread has a texture similar to cornbread, but is slightly coarser due to the rye meal.  The molasses is nicely balanced out by the buttermilk and rye, and it is delicious with the traditional pairing of baked beans.

Boston Brown Bread

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