The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

a boston brown quick fix

freerk's picture

a boston brown quick fix

I don't even know what it was I wanted to do; I just ended up fascinated by the fact I had just purchased two tin cans of cookies, and, when flipping open Glezer's book, there was that picture of  that bread sticking out of tin cans; the Boston Brown Bread! So, sometimes if not all the time, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do:

I didn't have nearly enough dough to make it out of the tin cans, but once removed you could never tell the difference:

The bread was... interesting. It's got light molasses in the formula, and all I had was dark molasses. Even though I downed the amount in the formula in favor of some extra milk in the very stiff and dry dough, the end result is still very....molasses. The dried cranberries work wonders in it!

There were some odd discrepancies in trying to recreate the formula. The dough I ended up with wasn't nearly enough to fill 3/4 of the tin cans, even though they had the exact recommended measurements. Maybe I dozed off for a second, maybe the rye was extremely thirsty today, I'll never know.

So, a bit on the dry side for my taste, but very comfy and x-massy to eat (dutch summer sucks anyway), I'm sure when the northern winds return I'm going to give the Boston Brown Bread another spin!




 P.S. You would do me a big favor endorsing my BreadLab iniative. Every "like" will get me closer to realizing a 6 episode documentary/road movie; chasing the best bread Europe has to offer. Thanks in advance!

nicodvb's picture

Frederik, I'd take a slice anytime. I guess that it tastes sweet and bitter, very old-world style and addictive.

freerk's picture

I love my molasses! I do think this bread would benefit the light molasses the formula asks for, to give the other flavors a fair chance to come through. It's really nice now as well though; the bittersweet dark brown flavor, the rye coming on strong, and then the acidity of the dried cranberries. I didn't taste any white cornflour in there though ;-)


P.S. As soon as my replicator is fixed, I'll send you a slice!

pmccool's picture

That is the typical approach for making Boston brown bread and usually results in a very moist, almost cake-like, texture.  Using the full quantity of dark molasses in place of the light molasses wouldn't hurt a thing, at least for my tastes.  It will just taste, umm, "darker".  Kind of fun to see a bottle of Grandma's Molasses, a U.S. brand, on a Dutch kitchen counter.


freerk's picture

Hey Paul!

Ahhh, that makes total sense! I gather you mean steaming the bread completely rather than using steam in the oven during the bake, right? More like fruitcake-style? That WOULD make a big difference. Glezer just puts in the oven for an hour an a half on 150 C.

I'll google around to see what methods are used on the Boston Brown!

I should make you a picture of all the US stuff I have around the kitchen! You would feel at home!

Some of my friends are getting weary to tell me they are traveling to the US.. I am currently wining and dining a couple that has to bring me back some Pullman pans, hihi.

Thanks for the feedback

SylviaH's picture

I haven't tried one baked.  I have a little tin steamer with a lid...great for steamed pudding too.


freerk's picture

Hey Sylvia!

I suspect that the steaming method would benefit this bread more than a bake! It is delicious though! But a bit of a softer, cake like crumb would make it even better. I have tried and succeeded lately in adding a very nice light soft crumb to a multigrain with seeds using the tangzhong method, I wonder if that would work on this bread as well.

Thanks for the feedback :-)