Boston Brown Bread

Susan Feliciano


This bread is traditionally served with baked beans.
The recipe calls for steaming the bread in cans. It can be baked in small loaf pans if you prefer. Baking is done at 350°F for about 35-40 minutes. But do try steaming, if you can. The consistency is more authentic.
Recipe is from an old cookbook of my mother's.


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4 small loaves
10 Min
3 Hr


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1 c
all-purpose flour
1 tsp
baking powder
1 tsp
baking soda
1 tsp
1 c
yellow cornmeal
1 c
whole wheat flour
3/4 c
dark molasses
2 c
buttermilk or sour milk
1 c
1-pound fruit or vegetable cans, cleaned, labels removed

How to Make Boston Brown Bread


  • 1Sift all-purpose flour with baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir in cornmeal and whole wheat flour. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.
  • 2Grease and flour the cans well. Divide batter evenly among the 4 cans. Cover cans tightly with foil. Place on a rack in a deep kettle for steaming.
    Pour in boiling water to a depth of 1 inch. Cover kettle and steam for 3 hours. Check and add more boiling water periodically if needed.
  • 3After 3 hours, remove cans from steamer and remove foil. Place cans in a preheated 450°F oven for 5 minutes. Remove bread from cans and cool on rack. Wrap tightly and store overnight. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Printable Recipe Card

About Boston Brown Bread

Course/Dish: Sweet Breads, Other Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Low Fat
Other Tags: Healthy, Heirloom

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