Friday, April 11, 2014

Boston Brown Bread


This is an old family recipe that has been around for as long as I have, maybe more. I first became acquainted with it while watching my grandmother prepare it in her kitchen one Saturday afternoon. I was fascinated at the prospect of something being baked in a can that once housed vegetables. An impatient six-year-old, the hour of time required for baking seemed like an eternity. I could hardly wait to see them come from the own, wondering just how high they would rise above the can. These are beautiful little loaves, made extra charming, I think, by the impression the can ridges make along the side, almost as if put there intentionally as a guideline for slicing. 

Dense, moist, rich and delicious, this makes for an excellent breakfast treat whether slathered with creamery butter or left plain. Good for the heart, and good for the soul. Give this retro recipe a try. 

Boston Brown Bread

1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup 100% All Bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins (I used half golden raisins)
1 cup nuts (I used pecans)
1 extra-large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease three 15-ounce, ridge-less cans.  (I used a Chinese vegetable can.  Many vegetable cans, such as green bean cans, shown on the left, have a lip at the top that will prevent the loaf from exiting the can.) 

Pour bran into a medium mixing bowl and add buttermilk.  Allow to stand for 30-45 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg and sugar.  Stir in soda mixed with water, flour, [soaked] bran mixture, raisins, and nuts.  Blend until combined.  Fill each can 2/3 full.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Pattie!

I remember baking cakes in coffee cans when I was a young mother. I always got such a kick out of it as did the kids:)

I must say, I'm really liking this Boston Brown Bread recipe. It is so bleak and rainy out, it would be perfect to have a slice right now! If I had Bran in the house I would run right now and "throw" it together.

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Pattie. I am so saving it!