Old-Fashioned Boston Brown Bread

Have you tasted or heard of Boston brown bread? It’s a traditional New England dish that hasn’t taken on in other parts of the country, but everyone should know about it. It’s a soft, sweetened brown bread that’s packed with raisins and has a deep, molasses taste.

The true key here is in the baking. While this may easily be prepared in a loaf pan, the original recipe is baked or steamed in a can – while traditionally made in baked bean cans, any old (but clean) can would do.

So, should we go into what makes this bread unique? We use a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour to get that wonderful, rich color (and taste!). Other recipes include rye flour, but we wanted to keep ours simple. Molasses and buttermilk are also added to the flour.

The molasses provides color and flavor, while the buttermilk keeps everything light and moist and protects the bread from getting too thick or dense. Finally, we add some (plumped up, rehydrated) raisins for a little of sweetness.

This bread is delicious, with just the right amount of sweetness. It was traditionally served with hot dogs or baked beans, but we like it in the morning or afternoon with a liberal smear of butter or cream cheese.

(Pro tip: reheat it up beforehand so your topping may melt into the bread a little.) Whether you serve it the traditional manner or prepare a batch to grab-and-go during your busy day, give this staple a try and see if you don’t end up liking it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *