Boston Brown Bread

From Baking Illustrated

Why this recipe works:

For our Boston brown bread recipe, we cut back on the amount of whole-wheat flour that is typically called for and added some unbleached all-purpose flour in its place, dramatically improving the bread by lightening up its texture and flavor balance. We chose “robust,” or dark, molasses for… read more

For our Boston brown bread recipe, we cut back on the amount of whole-wheat flour that is typically called for and added some unbleached all-purpose flour in its place, dramatically improving the bread by lightening up its texture and flavor balance. We chose “robust,” or dark, molasses for the deep color and bold, bittersweet flavor that it added to the loaves. To add moisture to our Boston brown bread recipe, we opted for buttermilk rather than milk because its tanginess complemented the other flavors in the bread and its acidity reacted with the baking soda already in the batter to provide greater lift. Two small loaf pans (instead of less convenient coffee cans), each filled with batter, covered tightly with foil, and steamed separately in a large Dutch oven (or together in a flameproof roasting pan) with water reaching halfway up the sides of the pans worked perfectly to steam the loaves.

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Makes 2 small loaves

Low and steady heat is the key to a tender, moist brown bread. If your burner’s flame is too high to allow for a slow, barely bubbling simmer, use a heat diffuser. If you choose to go the classic route and steam the bread in coffee cans, use two 1-pound cans and make sure to liberally grease the insides of the cans. As with the loaf pans, coffee cans should be tightly wrapped with buttered aluminum foil, and as with the loaf pans, the water should reach halfway up the sides. We like dark molasses, especially Grandma’s Robust molasses, in this recipe. This bread is best served warm.

Ingredients

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