Boston Brown Bread

Makes 2 loaves, but if you have a large enough roaster, you can easily double it.

1 C rye flour
1 C cornmeal
1 C whole wheat flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c raisins
2 C buttermilk
3/4 C molasses

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and raisins. Make a well in the center, and pour in the buttermilk and molasses. Beat well.

Butter two 1-quart coffee cans (nowadays, if you can find metal tins from Piroulines, they will also work). Divide the batter between the tins and fill each only two-thirds full (to allow rising). Put a double layer of foil over each tin, secured near the top with a thick rubber band (it won’t melt).

Put the tins on a rack in a large roaster or kettle with a tightly fitting cover. Add boiling water halfway up the sides of the tins. Cover the kettle, place over heat, and steam for 3 hours. Check every hour to make sure water is boiling and replenish it if needed.

After 3 hours, remove cylinders from water. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Remove the foil and rubber band lids and place the uncovered tins in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from tins and cool on racks.

It’s especially delicious served warm, with butter or cream cheese.


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