Monday, June 10, 2013

Bread in a Can

One of my favorite food memories is B&M Baked Beans Company's New England Brown Bread.  Sealed in a can, it was a little log of molasses, raisins, and deliciousness.  First, you took the lid of one end, and then you took it off the other, and used the circle of tin to push the loaf out.  Slice it into rounds along the ridge lines left by the can, toast it in some butter in a frying pan, and top with savory baked beans.  There you have it, a classic New England supper.

Living in the northern reaches of the Midwest, my beloved bread in a can is hard to find.  I found it once, but then the little cheese shop stopped carrying it.  That was a very sad day...but today, I found a recipe online here and I felt renewed hope: perhaps I could have my brown bread, and eat it, too!  I had a handy coffee can and tinfoil, so I gave it a whirl. 

Just look at it!

Two and a half hours in a boiling water bath, and it is steamed lusciousness.  It even has the handy indentations to show you where to slice.

All it needed was a pot of homemade "stovetop" baked beans, and a fried tomato, and there you have it: the perfect dinner for a rainy Sunday evening, or whenever the weather feels like New England.

"Stovetop" Baked Beans

You'll need: 2 cans canellini beans, or navy beans, drained and rinsed; 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B dark; 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses; two tablespoons brown spicy mustard or country dijon mustard; two tablespoons tomato ketchup, preferably homemade or organic; pinch of salt.

Combine the maple syrup, molasses, mustard, ketchup and salt in a heavy bottomed pan, or dutch oven.  Stir in the beans, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, then remove lid and stir well, until heated through and the sauce is thickened to how you prefer it.  Serve over toast, with a side of sliced, fried tomato slices.

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