Creativity Through Food

Over the last decade or so I have really fallen in love with the kind of creativity that I can do in the kitchen.  I’m a long way from being a great cook.  Mostly I’m working with recipes but I have enough confidence to fiddle and tweak to make them mine.  Over the years, I’m happy to report that the number of utter failures has been very small.

Learning that you can create a childhood favorite is a wonderful experience.  I remember eating Boston Brown bread as a child and I have always loved that flavor.  Years ago I found a recipe for a classic, steamed version that has never failed me.  Combining rye and whole wheat flours with corn meal, dark molasses, raisins, buttermilk, salt and baking soda yields a dark, dense, sweet bread that is beyond description when it’s hot with melting butter soaking into it.  Growing up, I remember eating it with beans and weenies.

If you decided to make this and have friends from New England they will inevitably ask you about how you cook it.  The “correct” answer is “steamed”.  You’ll see that I’m a total traditionalist on that subject.

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Everything is ready to go

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It is vital that you have some way to keep the cans OFF the bottom of the pot.  I have no idea what this was originally but it allows the water to flow under the cans and keep them from burning.

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The recipe will make four soup can loaves.  Dividing the batter evenly fills each one about half way.  Then cover them with wax paper, then aluminum foil, then tie it with twine. I have never had to grease the cans but you might want to do so.

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Into the pot, not touching each other.  Water should come up about a third of the way on each can.  You will bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 2 1/2 hours with a lid on.  Keep an eye on the water level!

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When they’re done, take off the tops and there are your loaves.  Let them cool for a bit then run a knife around the edge and gently shake them out.

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Cut one while it’s still warm, put a generous dollop of butter on it to melt and then enjoy!  I usually wrap the others in wax paper and aluminum foil and toss them in the freezer once they cool a little more.

 

Hope you enjoy.  The folks at King Arthur Flour have a great recipe for this online HERE, I use 15 oz cans instead of larger and only let the water come up a third of the way on the cans.  Comes out fabulous.

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