The smell of homemade baked beans cooking in the oven is wonderful! I like to use chicken broth to cook the beans in. It adds a nice base to the beans without it tasting like chicken. No ketchup in these beans either. The beans will bake up to a lovely dark color from the molasses. Do not use black strap molasses. Use plain unsulfured molasses. Baked beans are supposed to be slightly thick when they are done baking, not sitting in a lot of liquid. This is a great dish for potlucks or picnics. Baked beans freeze up wonderfully. I freeze mine into single servings.
Add the beans to a large bowl and cover with cold water and swoosh them around a few times with your hand to clean them. Drain the beans into a colander; discarding the dirty bean water.
Repeat rinsing the beans 2 or 3 times until water is clear and clean.
Add beans back to the large bowl and cover with water. Cover the bowl of beans with a lid or a large plate; set in the refrigerator overnight. (Make sure bowl is filled with water because the beans will absorb a bit while soaking overnight).
Next morning, drain the beans in a colander and rinse one more time.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a 3 quart bean pot or a deep casserole dish, add 3 slices of bacon to the bottom.
Add half the beans on top of bacon.
On top of the beans, add a few more slices of bacon and the sliced onion.
Add the rest of the beans to the dish and then add the last slices of bacon on top.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, add ½ cup of chicken broth, molasses, garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine; pour over beans.
Last, cover beans with 2½-3 cups of chicken broth, making sure all the beans are covered.
Cover bean dish with a lid or foil and bake the beans at 300 degrees for 6-8 hours or until beans are dark golden brown in color, and tender. Do not stir the beans! It will make them mushy.
After about 2-3 hours of baking, check to see if beans need more broth. If the beans are not covered in liquid, add a little more broth (or water) at this time. (It usually needs a little more).
After 6-8 hours of baking, you will have the most delicious baked beans ever!
Serve with kielbasa, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, just about anything! Don’t forget the cornbread. Beans and hot buttered cornbread is a must! :)