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Baked Boston Brown Bread Recipe
Baked Brown Bread (also known as Boston Brown Bread) has an interesting history to it.
There were not a lot of “sweets” around in the early days of the American colonies and like everyone, everywhere; the people had a sweet tooth. Many of the ingredients and recipes for the standard confections or desserts from Europe were not available or they were simply too expensive for many people to get a hold of; basically because it not only had to be purchased from the Old World, it also had to be shipped to America. (And, of course, there was the time and the freshness of the ingredients by the time is was actually used for the food).
(Interesting side note: Chocolate was readily available in America, but it wasn’t really used for a dessert ingredient. it was mixed with spices like paprika or cayenne pepper and used for medicinal purposes. )
However; what was readily available (and had a very long shelf life) was molasses. Ann the Colonist had to be inventive and they came up with a simple, easy and inexpensive recipe for a quick and tasty dessert: Using this wonderful versatile sweetener, Brown bread (also called New England brown bread) was made with a mixture if different flours (such as rye, or wheat) and molasses, and steamed in tin cans or cylinders.
Now, the following recipe is a very basic brown bread; I choose not to steam it, simply because I didn’t have a sensible way of doing it. So I made it in the standard sweet bread fashion (like pumpkin bread) in a loaf tin.
This sweet brown bread is easy to make and will last a good week before losing freshness.
1 Cup (8 ounces) of all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) of white sugar
1 Teaspoon (tsp.) of salt
1 Teaspoon (tsp.) of baking soda
2 Cup (16 ounces) of 100 percent wheat flour
1 Cup (8 ounces) of whole milk
1 Cup (8 ounces) of molasses, light is fine, dark is best
1 Cup (8 ounces) of chopped nuts, chocolate chips (milk, bittersweet or dark) or even raisins, optional.
-large mixing bowl
-5 x 9 loaf pan
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F.
2. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper.
3. Sift together the all-purpose flour, the white sugar, the salt,and the baking soda in the large mixing bowl.
4. Add the 100 percent wheat flour, the whole milk, and the molasses.
5. Mix together the ingredients with the whisk.
6. Add the nuts, the chocolate chips or the raisin, if you are using them, and fold them into the batter.
7. Pour the batter into the lined 5x9 inch loaf pan.
8. Bake the bread batter for one (1) hour.
9. Remove the bread from the oven.
10. Allow the bread loaf to cool completely before slicing and serving.
11. This bread will stay fresh for up to a week if you keep in the fridge (wrapped in plastic wrap is best).