Brown Bread

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


Chewy and dark, this bread gets its acidic tang from buttermilk and molasses. A coffee can molds the loaf into its signature cylinder shape. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Gabriella Gershenson's article Full of Beans.


  • 12 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • 12 cup rye flour
  • 14 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 14 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 tsp. baking powder
  • 14 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 12 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Butter, for greasing and serving


Step 1

Heat oven to 300°. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, rye, whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, salt, and baking powder and soda; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together molasses, buttermilk, and egg until smooth; pour over dry ingredients, and stir with a spoon until just combined. Transfer to a cleaned and greased 13-oz. metal coffee can, and cover can with a piece of foil; place in the center of a 6-qt. saucepan. Pour 6 cups water into pot around can, and bring to a boil over high heat. Transfer pan to oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean, 2½–3 hours.

Step 2

Remove can from water bath, and let cool for 20 minutes. Uncover and unmold bread from can; let cool completely. Slice into thick rounds and spread with butter.

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