This is one of those times where, when confronted with two recipes for the same thing, one ought to make them both at the same time to make an accurate comparison. However, then, you are stuck with two recipes for, in this case Boston Brown Bread. So, because Bob is trying to cut down on carbs and I don't eat bread, I didn't make them both at the same time. I made Brown Bread I for the church social hour in January, and Brown Bread II for the same thing after the Easter service. The church sent off an e-mail requesting donations and I leaped forward. Aside from giving me another recipe to check off, it also gave me the opportunity to throw away the three cans I had been carefully saving on the corner of the counter since January.
Honestly, this brown bread, although it has rye flour in it instead of white flour, does not seem to be markedly different from the other brown bread. This is an easy recipe. Let me translate a few things. Graham flour is whole wheat flour. If you can't get buttermilk, add a tablespoon or so of cider vinegar to the milk. It curdles. Rye flour seems to be easy to get. Look among the Bob's Red Mill products.
Steaming bread, which might seem counterproductive is also easy. As the directions say, fill the cans about two-thirds full with batter and cover them with wax paper or tin foil held on with rubber bands or string. Put them on something that will keep them off the bottom of the kettle. The recipe says a rack. I didn't have a round rack, although I do remember my mother having a couple. I used a couple of ramikins, which are tiny souffle dishes, put upside down and allowed to fill with water. I set the ramikins in the kettle, put the cans of dough on top and poured in the water until it climbed half way up the cans. I let the bread steam for three hours as instructed and took the cans out when the timer went off.
When it says cans, it means just that. Aluminum cans, 28 ounces, the kind canned tomatoes or beans come in.
The product is dark and moist, good with cream cheese or butter.
Brown Bread II
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup rye flour
1 cup graham (whole wheat) flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 cup raisins
1. Combine the corn meal, rye flour, graham flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix together the buttermilk, molasses and raisins. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Fill well-greased pudding molds or cans about two-thirds full with the batter. It will fill about two 28 ounce cans.
3. Cover with greased mold covers or can lids and cover over with aluminum foil. (I'm not even entirely sure what a mold cover is. The only can lids I have were used for the dog food. So relax and use wax paper or aluminum foil, held on with rubber bands)
4. Place the molds or cans on a rack in a large kettle, with water extending at least halfway up the sides of the molds or cans. Cover and cook three hours, replenishing water as necessary. Makes two or three loaves.