Monday, October 21, 2013

Pushing the Envelope

As you may have guessed, I like experimenting in the kitchen.  Sometimes, it leads me to unexpected places.

Take, for example, my latest experiment: Boston Brown Bread, steamed and sealed in a canning jar.

Lest I bring down CDC and USDA lackeys upon my head, let me preface this by saying that, yes, I did read all the scary scary warnings about the terrible evils of canning breads in a jar.  Yes, I acknowledge that I am possibly bringing about the possibility of poisoning myself with botulism, which I cannot see, smell or taste which might grow in my canned bread.

I might also trip in the Big Coop, fall, hit my head, and be consumed by the Ladies as a delicious snack.

I think the likelihood of either happenstance occurring is about evenly matched at most likely never going to happen.

But, to satisfy any legal-eeze that might come about following this blog post, let me state for the record that I am NOT advocating that anyone else try this, nor am I endorsing this product for mass consumption by other home canners.  I did this for my own purposes, and as such, if I manage to poison my sorry self, I only have myself to blame.  Right?  Right.

Anywho. On with the show.

I've been wanting to try out this recipe for a while, as I love Boston Brown Bread, and grew up with it in the can from the B&M Beans Company in New England.  Living in the Midwest, it is nearly impossible to find this staple--so, I decided I would try making a small stash of my very own.  I found a recipe here, and after emailing back and forth with the author, decided that I would give it a whirl.  First, I had to track down some wide mouth pint jars, and then I needed to find "good" buttermilk.  And then, I had to actually be home for an extended period of time, as you steam this bread for about 2 1/2 hours.

As you can see from the above photo, I now have gloriously dark brown Boston Brown Bread waiting for me to devour it.  (I did make a small loaf in a coffee can, just so I can have some immediately).  Here's my thoughts about storing it:

1.  Yes, I am planning to put a can or two on the shelf in the pantry.  I want to see how it does in that environment, and plan to eat it within a couple of months.

2.  Just for experimentation purposes, I am going to put the remaining cans into the freezer once they are completely cooled.  The jars did indeed seal with very satifying pings, so they are air tight--I think this might help the bread to avoid freezer burn.

3.  Really, I am not worried about poisoning myself.  I know my kitchen, I know the quality of ingredients, and I know how I processed them.  So all in all, I feel pretty comfortable with this experiment.  Plus, I have my doctor on speed dial in case of emergencies.  Ha!

Please note:  Again, I'm not advocating that everyone who reads this blog entry go out and start canning up breads and cakes willy nilly.  Proceed at your own risk, should you chose to do an experiment of your own.

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