Boston Brown Bread

This is the authentic recipe for the unusual American steamed bread which was made in colonial New England. It is easy to prepare and, although it fnust steam for

3J hours, it is well worth waiting for.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

18 fl. oz. commercial buttermilk 6 fl. oz. molasses, or dark treacle

6 oz. seedless raisins

6 oz. cornmeal

6 oz. rye flour

6 oz. wholewheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Using a pastry brush, lightly oil two 2-pint, round, plain moulds or pudding basins.

Pour the buttermilk, molasses, or dark treacle, and raisins into a medium-sized mixing bowl and beat together.

Put the cornmeal, rye flour, whole- wheat flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and continue to stir until well mixed.

Divide the mixture between the two moulds or basins. Cover them very securely with greased aluminium foil, tied tightly with string under the lip of each basin.

Place a rack in the bottom of a large, deep saucepan which is wide enough to hold both the basins. Put the basins on the rack and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up around the basins. Cover the saucepan and boil steadily, over moderate heat, for 3 to 3J hours. Add more water when necessary to keep the water at the original level.

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).

After taking the basins out of the saucepan, remove the foil covers and place the basins in the oven for about 15 minutes.

This will remove any excess moisture from the bread.

Turn the bread out on to a rack. Serve hot or cold.

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