Boston Brown Bread

Boston Brown Bread
4.5 from 2 ratings
Boston brown bread is a regional specialty that's traditionally steamed or baked in a can, the rings leaving an impression on the loaves. A liberal coating of butter helps the bread slide out easily. Alex Roman, head bread baker at Chicago's Floriole Cafe and Bakery, says it's best when cut in thick slices. "From what I know, (it was) created by colonial New Englanders, with rye and cornmeal because they were preserving their reserves of other flours," says Roman. "They steamed it because, without ovens, they cooked in open fires."This recipe is adapted from Floriole Cafe and Bakery in Chicago, Illinois. It was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Boston Brown Bread recipe - The Daily Meal
Total time: 1.07 hours
  • 3 tablespoon soft butter, for buttering the cans
  • 1 3/4 cups (200 grams) fine white cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 cup (285 grams) whole rye flour
  • 2 cup (285 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 3/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 5 eggs
  1. Heat oven to 325 F. Using a pastry brush, butter 4 cans with 3 tablespoons softened butter.
  2. In a bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups (200 grams) fine white cornmeal, 2 1/4 cups (285 grams) whole rye flour, 2 cups (285 grams) whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 3 teaspoons baking powder and 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  3. In another bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, 2 3/4 cups blackstrap molasses and 5 eggs. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; mix until just incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix, the mixture should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter among the 4 cans (about 3/4 full for each can); slam the cans onto the table to level the batter.
  6. Transfer the tins onto a rimmed baking sheet. (The baking sheet is used to keep you from having to deep clean your oven if the batter should overflow.)
  7. Bake for 20 minutes; rotate pan, then bake for another 20 minutes. Test the bread by inserting a cake tester, or a long wooden skewer down the center of the bread; it should come out clean. If not, bake 5 to 10 minutes more.
  8. Remove cans from the oven; allow to cool for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the breads; slide the loaves from the cans. Cool completely.