"ABOUT BROWN BREAD: Yellow cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, and rye flour are the traditional grains used in Boston brown bread. Steamed breads such as this one were popular in colonial America, as they could be made in a kettle over an open fire in the days when an oven was a luxury. Even today, this steamed bread is the classic accompaniment to Boston baked beans, a favorite Sunday lunch in New England."
Steamed Rye & Maple Brown Bread
*makes one 1-lb loaf*
butter for greasing
1/2 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup medium-grind rye flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1) Generously grease a 1-pound cylindrical coffee can.
2) In a bowl, stir together the cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, rye flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
3) In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and maple syrup. Pour into the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Stir in the cranberries.
4) Scrape the batter into the prepared can; it should be no more than two-thirds full. Cover tightly with a square of aluminum foil held in place by a thick rubber band. Set the can on a trivet or wire rack in the bottom of a stockpot, making sure it is centered and level. Add hot water to the stockpot to come halfway up the sides of the can. Cover the pot and bring the water to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Steam, checking occasionally to be sure the water has not boiled off and adding more hot water as needed, until the bread is puffed, slightly firm to the touch, and slightly moist, about 1 1/4 hours. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
5) Carefully remove the hot can from the water bath. Transfer to a wire rack and remove the cover. Let stand for a few minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan, place it on its side, and let cool slightly or completely. Serve sliced into rounds.