Steamed Brown Bread
The following recipe comes from “The Concord Souvenir Cook Book” published in 1892.
  • 1cup corn meal
  • 1cup rye flour
  • 1cup whole wheat flour
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ¾cup raisins
  • 2cups sour milk
  • 1cup molasses
  1. You can make the sour milk by putting 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in a measuring cup and filling with milk up to the 2-cup mark. Allow this to stand for 5 minutes before using.
  2. Butter and then flour three cans. I recycle ½-pound coffee cans. Prepare a large pot with 3 inches of boiling water plus extra boiling water. A canning kettle with a tight-fitting lid is fine.
  3. Thoroughly whisk all the dry ingredients through salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the raisins.
  4. In another bowl, thoroughly mix the sour milk and molasses. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir just enough to moisten all the dry ingredients.
  5. Fill the buttered cans ¾ full of batter, cover them with lids or aluminum foil and secure the aluminum foil tightly with string or rubber bands. Place the cans in the kettle. Add enough boiling water to bring the level halfway up the side of the cans. Cover the kettle tightly.
  6. Steam the breads three hours. Check the kettle once and add more boiling water if needed to keep the water at the same level. Remove the cans from the kettle and take off their lids. Loosen the breads by running a knife around the inside edge of the can.
  7. If the knife becomes at all sticky, the breads are too moist and you need to brown the breads by placing them uncovered in the oven, still in the cans, for 10 to 15 minutes at 300 degrees F. Remove the bread from the cans. Slice the breads crosswise and serve warm with butter and cream cheese.