Old Fashioned Steamed Brown Bread #BreadBakers


When I hear the words "brown bread", I immediately remember the taste of the good old B&M bread in a can.  As a child I particularly preferred the plain version over the one with raisins, but we only had them on very rare occasions.  We would open up both ends, remove one lid, and use the other to slowly push out just enough to slice off and toast.  Then we'd slather them with butter and enjoy, piping hot.  Such a treat.  So that was definitely my pick for our brown bread challenge.  It did take a couple different recipe tries but the second recipe was exactly the batter I was expecting and spot on for flavor!  I did take it out of the steamer a little early and it collapsed just slightly because the crumb hadn't fully set.  Next bake, I will go the full 3-hour time to ensure the crumb is both gelled and firmly set.  So although it was a little more dense than it might have been, it still takes me right down memory lane.  I just toasted it really well.

The stuff I grew up eating.

Now, truth be told, this really is a quick bread recipe.  Some folks (that don't like it) have called it a cake masquerading as bread.  This is totally not cake.  It might remind one of a nice, dark bran muffin texture and flavor.  Regardless, it's a family tradition I am happy to bring back.  Note that this recipe may be doubled and baked in five 16oz canned good cans that have been cleaned and paper removed.

Traditional Steamed Brown Bread
Makes one small loaf
½ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup corn meal (I use millet meal)
½ cup graham or whole wheat flour (I used half fresh ground sprouted spelt and half fresh ground rye)
3/8 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Stir together the dry ingredients and the raisins.  Add molasses and buttermilk and beat well.  Grease a small pudding tin well with butter and fill with the batter (batter should reach halfway).  (I used a 1.25 Qt bain marie).  Cover tin tightly with foil.  Place on a rack in a deep kettle on a burner.  (I used my graniteware steam canner).  Pour in boiling water to 1 inch deep.  Cover kettle and steam for about 2½-3 hours, adding more boiling water if needed.  Keep at a simmer.  Uncover tin and place in a hot oven (450ºF) for 5 minutes.  Remove bread from cans and serve hot, or toast after cooling.  Good with butter, mascarpone, or cream cheese.
Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a day or so. Refrigerate up to several days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

 Be sure to check out all the other brown bread bakes this month!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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  1. I'm glad you found a vessel for the bread that is close to a can. I will have to see if I can find one of these pudding molds.

  2. I am saving my baked bean cans so next time I make brown bread, I can bake in a can too. And I'm with you, it's *not* cake masquerading as bread. For one thing, it's practically fat free. And aside from angel food cake, I can't think of any other dessert cakes that are fat free. Yay, steamed brown bread!

  3. I remember B&M baked beans. The name made us giggle if you know what I mean. Your loaf looks just perfect!

  4. Yes I need to try this steamed brown bread with some chili perfect and delicous

  5. Amazing steamed bread. I am going to save a few cans and definitely try this bread.

  6. We used to be able to buy this in cans when I was a kid - I haven't tried making my own yet!

  7. This is stunning - love the family memories! I have never tried anything like this before, but I would sure love to.

  8. Simply superb bread. Such fantastic colour and a lovely crumb.


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