May 7, 2013

A Little Extra: Authentic Boston Brown Bread

I like baking. Pretty much that covers everything. I really like baking. And I like trying new kinds of breads. Different kinds of bread. And this one was definitely unlike any I had made before. And seriously, why not?

From: Taste of Home Cookbook

Here's What You Need:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoon chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoon raisins
Cream cheese, softened (optional)

Here's What You Do:
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, molasses, brown sugar and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Transfer to a greased 8x4-inch loaf pan; cover with foil. Place pan on a rack in a boiling-water canner or other large, deep pot; add 1 inch of hot water. Bring to a gentle boil; cover and steam for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean; adding more water as needed.

Remove pan from Dutch oven; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with cream cheese if desired.






It was actually really easy to make. No kneading involved. Basically all you had to do was mix then steam. Quite possibly the easiest bread recipe I have taken on to date, and that includes the one I did in a bread machine which might have been because that recipe was confusing and I had never used a bread machine before (I also ended up burning myself with that silly bread machine too - note to self [or anyone else] if you are using bread machine to bake the bread as well, the little handle thing gets really really hot!).

The only part of this recipe that I struggled with was that you steamed this bread to bake it basically which meant that you needed a little rack to go in a Dutch oven or deep pot for the loaf pans to sit on. Well, I sure didn't have that. I actually have loaf pans and this was the first time I had been able to use them. But the problem I quickly found was that the 8x4-inch pan I had didn't fit in my pot, so I had to go with the two of the smaller size which did fit in the pan. So I figured that out but I still had the problem of figuring out what I was going to about the rack that I definitely didn't have. My solution? Well, it was an interesting one, but it worked so don't go making fun of me too much. I used the biggest pot I had. Then I put my vegetable steamer into and opened it as wide as I could get it to go then I squeezed the loaf pans down on top of that. Honestly I did not think this was going to work, but sure enough it did. Sometimes you just have to be inventive.

But the big question is how does it taste. It was actually pretty good. I don't know if I'll be making it again, but I'm glad I did make it at least once. It was easier than I thought it would be, even though I came across a few problems trying to make it. I just had to do some creative fixes. If you like Boston brown bread then I would definitely give this recipe a try. It was easy and pretty good. Plus, if you want to try making breads then definitely start with this one because there was no kneading or braiding or anything else that is sometimes complicated.


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