Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boston Brown Bread

It defies categories. It looks like cake, tastes sweet, and is packed with whole grains. It makes me feel virtuous.

Sometimes I eat it with baked beans and tomato wedges. More often I eat it with a bit of butter as breakfast or a snack. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator and is fine if you warm it a bit.

It's a kitchen sink recipe. I dump in whatever flours I have on hand. The last version had a combination of oat bran, whole wheat, quinoa flakes, and corn flour as well. I like more molasses. So I tend to use 1/2 cup of molasses and 1/4 cup of maple syrup. You can use one or the other, or a combination. I also decided to try and make it a bit like gingerbread. I added 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Boston Brown Bread

By Mark Bittman

From the How to Cook Everything Vegetarian® app

This soft‐crusted bread, traditionally eaten with Baked Beans, is best with a mixture of flours. Although it can be baked or steamed, I prefer baking. Stir up to 1 cup of raisins into the prepared batter if you like.

Butter or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for the pans
2 cups buttermilk or yogurt, or 2 cups less 2 tablespoons milk plus 2 tablespoons white vinegar (see Step 2)
3 cups assorted flours, such as 1 cup each rye, cornmeal, and whole wheat or all‐purpose
1½ teaspoons salt
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¾ cup molasses or maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Liberally grease two 8 × 4‐inch loaf pans or one 9 × 5‐inch pan.
If you're using buttermilk or yogurt, ignore this step. If not, make the soured milk: Warm the milk gently—1 minute in the microwave is sufficient, just enough to take the chill off—and add the vinegar. Let it rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients, then add the sweetener and buttermilk. Stir just until mixed; this is a loose batter, not a dough. Pour or spoon into the loaf pan(s) and bake for 1 hour or a little longer, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pans; eat warm.

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Copyright © Double B Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

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