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Bread in a can? That's right! Along with Boston baked beans, one of New England's greatest manufacturing feats has been this hearty brown bread, steamed right in the can. Serve this easy homemade version with cream cheese or salted butter. Toast if desired.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
40 mins
15 mins
1 hr 10 mins
2 small loaves


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Clean two 15-ounce cans thoroughly and remove any labels. Spray the insides with cooking spray. Put a kettle on to boil.

  • Whisk all-purpose flour, rye, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix buttermilk, molasses, egg, and brown sugar together in a separate bowl. Combine molasses mixture with the flour mixture and stir in currants.

  • Divide the batter between the prepared cans. Cover the tops with foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray; secure with twine.

  • Place the cans on a rack inside of a large stockpot and pour the boiling water into the pot until it comes halfway up the cans. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place a lid on top of the pot and reduce heat to low. Continue simmering until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out with minimal moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes.

  • Remove the cans from the pot using tongs, remove the foil tops, and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn cans upside down and gently shake to loosen the bread. Return to wire rack to cool completely.

Cook's Note:

Substitute currants for the raisins, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

207 calories; protein 4.6g; carbohydrates 45g; fat 1.6g; cholesterol 32.6mg; sodium 422.3mg. Full Nutrition