Steamed Boston Brown Bread

I have a breadmaker for the everyday sandwich loaf bread. Toss it all in, leave it alone overnight, wake up to fresh bread! Voila!

Except every time I do that I have nowhere to put the bread. Wrapping it in cellophane is tedious and wasteful so, last Friday, I ordered something from Amazon for the first time. Ever.  I bought myself a breadbox. OK, it isn’t one of those giant countertop breadboxes, its a small portable one with a little vent for moisture control. Sweeeeeet.


Best thing ever? It showed up Monday! This was my motivation to make the Brown Bread.  This recipe is from the same book as the potato soup that I love, The Encyclopedia of Nutrition and Cooking, and it has lots of really down to earth recipes.  I haven’t decided if I actually like the bread yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty. It’s moist and rich and the molasses stands out most of all.  The raisins are a source of uneasiness for me. I really don’t like them in baked goods, the texture is completely at odds with fluffy. But sometimes they surprise me.

I only had one can so I used a few jelly jars instead with varying results.  I forgot to grease one of the jars, and figured I would be able to tell which it was thinking that I would have trouble removing it. However, it was the exact opposite. Two of them were stuck. Do I not need to grease the bottles? Or did I do something else? Hmmmm…











1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup enriched yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup dark or golden raisins


In a bowl, combine raisins, molasses and buttermilk and stir until the buttermilk and molasses are joined.


In a a larger bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


I got to use my new danish whisk! It worked like a charm. I like its sturdiness and somehow, the dough doesn’t stick to it.

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture; stir only enough to moisten flour.   (I couldn’t bring myself to post a picture of the batter. There is just no way to make some batter look nice.)

Spoon batter into well greased 16-oz cans (small coffee can) – only 2/3 full.

Cover cans tightly with foil. (I added a rubber band)


Place cans on a trivet in a steamer or in a saucepot with a tight-fitting cover. Fill steamer with water to no more than half the height of the can. Tightly cover steamer (saucepot). Steam for 3 hours.

(I didn’t exactly have a tight fitting lid, so I kept having to refill the water. I’m not sure all the ups and downs in temp were good for it.)


I did my jars the same way. I greased them with coconut oil and then added foil and elastics.


After about an hour and a half, I got curious… aaaaand impatient. So I peaked under the lid of the can and I convinced myself it was done! The toothpick came out clean and so I set about heating up some beans cutting myself a slice.




Sadly, and yet somehow not unexpectedly, it was close, but not quite done.  Back in the steamer with you, Loafy! I was pretty sure I had ruined it at this point.


I kept the tester slice and ate it with some beans. Very tasty, even if a tad doughy!

Eventually, after the full 3 hours was up, I ended up with a nice collection of bread cylinders.  They are dense and moist and I am not totally opposed to the raisins. haha!

Serve warm and layer with a generous helping of butter and enjoy!

DSC03670aAt least now I have somewhere to store them! 😀


Now that’s some steamy bread!


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