Authentic Boston Brown Bread Recipe

A dense, moist bread made with the flavors of molasses and brown sugar and laced with golden raisins.  This is the classic complement to Boston Baked Beans but it works equally well with any soup, stew, or casserole—or even as a snack spread with butter or cream cheese.

1/2  cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light rye flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar


1. Grease a 46-ounce can and dust it with flour.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the cornmeal, flours, leavening, and salt until well distributed.  Add the raisins and stir in.
3. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk, molasses, oil, and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the liquids, and mix with a spatula until combined.  Do not over mix.  Pour the batter into the prepared can.  Cover the can with aluminum foil to seal.
5. Place jar ring or another object in the bottom of a deep pan to hold the can off the bottom the keep the bread from burning.  Place the covered can on the ring.  Pour hot water into the pan until it comes up several inches on the can.  Put a lid on the pan.
6. Turn the heat on medium high and bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for two hours or until the bread is done.  Add more water to the pan as needed.  The bread will be done when a toothpick stuck into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove the can from the water.  After about ten minutes, remove the bread from the can.  Slice and serve warm.