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Brown Bread

In the March, edition of SAVEUR “Best Cakes Ever” on the cover,
the “Can Do” Brown Bread (Gabriella Gershenson page #83), caught my interest today-
so I made it.

The molasses & buttermilk give this dark, chewy bread it’s tangy flavor.
New Englanders baked similar breads in wood-fired ovens, dating back to the 1800’s-

I needed a loaf can, so I grabbed a 28-ounce can of Organic, Fire-Roasted Tomatoes from the pantry.
I opened the can with my Krups Open Master 404.  It’s a blade-less device that leaves cans safe & easy to handle.
To harvest the can, I made a slow cooking red sauce, removed the label & washed out the can.

I slightly tweaked the recipe for the original version;

Brown Bread

Move your oven racks low enough to fit the ‘water bath’ + loaf ‘can’.
Boil about 7-8 c. water in an oven proof pot with handles.
Heat oven to 300•

In a medium sized bowl, mix together;
1/2 c. stone ground corn meal
1/2 c. rye flour
1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda

In another bowl whisk together;
1/2 c. Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 egg
butter or olive oil spray

Once separately mixed, pour wet over dry & lightly mix.
Pour into oiled loaf ‘can’ & cover with the oiled lid.
Place upright in water bath & bring to a full, hard boil for just a minute.
Place water-bath & can in the oven & bake.

I bake with a convection oven & I baked this for 1 hour 45 minutes,
although the original recipe states to bake for 2 1/2 – 3 hours-

Check if the loaf is cooked by testing the center with a bamboo BBQ skewer.  If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
Remove from oven & let loaf rest for another 20 minutes on a rack.  Uncover & remove bread from can.
Let cool almost completely before slicing it into thick rounds.  Serve with butter, burnt-butter-sage, burnt-butter rosemary, or honey-

I thought it was too strong armed by the molasses & a bit too sweet.
I’ll experiment with whole cumin seeds & rolled oats & re-blog it soon.

p.s. My father taught me to make this handy fruit picker; it’s very useful this time of year-
Cut a ‘V’ in the open edge of the 28-ounce can, then screw it to the 5-6′ straight stick in two places, with the
“V” on the outside edge.  Use the ‘V’ to help get the fruit picked with a slight jolt, & the can will catch it.
It’s great for the hard to reach varieties that grow just over the fence ♥