Boston brown bread is a recipe that's been delighting people for hundreds of years. When Europeans first began immigrating to what would become the United States, cornmeal and rye flour were fairly common, but wheat flour was a luxury that was hard to come by. This bread uses all three grains in small quantities to minimize the need for expensive wheat flour alone.
Cooks traditionally steam brown bread rather than bake it to soften and tenderize the cornmeal. It takes longer than other breads to cook, but the result is like nothing else. Molasses and raisins give the savory bread a touch of sweetness, and the combination of grains provides a unique and addictive texture. To make it in the traditional way, bake it in a 6-inch-tall-by 4-inch-diameter can. If you don’t have an empty can, bake the bread in a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan, using the same water-bath steaming method.