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Six Year Blog Anniversary WINNERS: Carla Gade - Pattern for Romance audiobooks go to Andrea Stephens and Megs Minutes and winner of Love's Compas is Terressa Thornton, PEGG THOMAS's signed copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection is Debra Smith, Janet Grunst's debut book goes to Kathleen Maher, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winner's choice goes to: Connie Saunders, Denise Weimer's print winner of, Angela Couch's winner's choice goes to Susan Johnson, Debra E. Marvin reader's choice of any of her novellas or a paperback of Saguaro Sunset novella -- Teri DiVincenzo and Lynne Feurstein, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's "For Love or Country" go to: Lucy Reynolds, Bree Herron and Mary Ellen Goodwin, Shannon McNear's winners are Becky Dempsey for Pioneer Christmas and Michelle Hayes for Most Eligible Bachelor, Roseanna White's winner for Love Finds You in Annapolis is Becky Smith.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Colonial Steamed Brown Bread

Colonial Steamed Brown Bread
A big part of writing historical fiction is research. If you don’t do the history well – it’s just fiction. And trust me, you’re going to honk off a bunch of history geeks in the process. Having been that honked off history geek a time or two, I know what I’m talking about.

I love to cook and bake. Always have. It’s another creative outlet for me. Combining my love of history with my love of cooking and baking was a no-brainer. So researching colonial-era cooking for my book? That was fun!

My grandma used to make what she called Boston Brown Bread. I discovered that the Colonial Steamed Brown Bread is very close to what grandma made. I think hers was considered “Boston” because it was served with baked beans.

Tweet this: #Colonial Steamed Brown Bread #recipe on the #ColonialQuills 

Home ovens were rare in Colonial times. The fort or settlement would have one oven, maybe two, that were shared. Yeast breads were baked only when the oven was available and heated.

Steaming breads was something that could be done in the hearth over an open fire. The bread – not a yeast bread, but more like our modern-day quick breads – was poured into a bowl of some sort, placed into a Dutch Oven with water about half-way up the sides of the bowl, covered with a lid, and swung over the fire to steam for anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the size of the bowl.

Wash 3 soup cans (roughly 15 oz size) grease well, prepare your steamer, get the water boiling.

Mix together:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. cooking oil (lard or bacon grease would be more authentic)
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup milk
1 teas. salt
1 teas. baking soda

Divide into the 3 greased cans (cans will be just over 1/2 full to allow the bread to rise). Top each can with a square of aluminium foil. Secure with a rubber band or string. Set cans into the steamer. Steam for 1 hour. Remove to a rack to cool. Immediately remove foil. Cool 10 minutes. Remove bread from cans. The texture is like a moist cornbread, but the flavor is unique. Wonderful served warm with butter and jam, or for the “Boston” variety, smothered with some rich and tasty baked beans.
Colonial Steamed Brown Bread smothered in beans and sausage


~ Pegg Thomas

4 comments:

  1. I'm going to have to try this!

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  2. Love anything colonial style :) I'll save up some soup cans and give this a try....
    thank you kindly

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  3. It's worth the fuss, ladies! It's heavy on the molasses, but you can't cook Colonial without molasses!

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  4. What a fun post, Pegg. My mom used to make Boston Brown Bread also.

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