Steamed Boston Brown Bread

Yield: 12 servings
Source: Healthy Cooking for Two or Just You (By Frances Price, RD.)
Comments: Don't try baking this in the oven! It will be as dry as can be and like a rock. The steaming provides the moisture that the ingredients lack, yielding a very moist texture. (There are baked Boston brown bread recipes on the internet, but the time it takes to steam is worth it.) If you don't like rye, don't worry about the rye flour. Boston Brown Bread doesn't taste of rye.


1 tsp vegetable shortening
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. rye flour
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. nonfat buttermilk
1/2 c. molasses
1/2 c. raisins, optional


  1. Grease a 13 oz. coffee can (or 4 inch Bundt pan) with shortening. Set aside.
  2. Into a large mixing bowl, sift the whole wheat flour, rye flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda. Beat in buttermilk and molasses; fold in raisins (if using.)
  3. Fill the prepared container no more than 3/4 of the way full with batter and cover with a double thickness of aluminum foil. Secure the foil tightly with two heavy rubber bands or butcher's twine.
  4. Set a steamer rack (or a small circular wire cake rack) in a stockpot or deep saucepan and place the filled container on it. Add enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the container.
  5. Remove the container, bring the water to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the container onto the steamer rack. Cover the pot.
  6. Reduce heat to low and steam the bread in gently simmering water for 3 hours, adding boiling water as necessary to maintain the same water level. (You'll only have to do this if your lid isn't tightly-fitting.)
  7. After 3 hours, remove the container from water. Unmold the bread onto a rack. (If using a can, puncture the bottom of each can with a can opener. The bread should slide out easily.)
  8. Cut each loaf into 12 slices (10 slices also yields a 2 pt serving) and serve warm or at room temperature.


Healthy Units: 2 per serving
Cal=118; fat=.7g; fiber=12.g; protein=2.8g; cholesterol=0

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