Boston Brown Bread

images-5A Holiday Favorite ~ Adapted from Home Cooking Laurie Colwin

1 cup stone ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup rye flour
1 cu whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup molasses
1 – 1.5 cups raisins

In a large bowl add first 5 ingredients.  Make a well in the center then add liquids to dry ingredients and gently combine all ingredients.

Lavishly Butter a six cup mold or large can.  I like to use a large can I’ve emptied from crushed tomatoes.  You could use any kind of can really, just remember to keep the water to 3/4 way up the mold as your bread is cooking.  Fill three quarters full, leaving room for the bread to expand.  Cover with pleated wax paper (which will expand as the bread rises) and tie down with a rubber band.

Place the mold in a kettle of hot water to come three-quarters of the way up the mold.  Bring to a boil, then slow to a simmer.  Cover and steam for 3.5 hours, checking every once in a while to make sure the water level stays at three-quarters.

TIP:   Set a steamer rack inside a tall stockpot and fill the pot with enough water to come 1/3 of the way up the sides of your coffee can. Turn the burner on to medium as you work.  Grease your [coffee can] or other can with butter.

Unmolded, this is a beautiful thing.  Serve with butter, jam, cream cheese or alone.

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