New This Month

Boston Brown Bread

A New England staple, this wholesome bread uses three different kinds of flour and is baked in a can. Martha made this recipe on episode 706 of Martha Bakes.

  • Yield: Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves

Photography: Yossy Arefi


  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for cans
  • 1/2 cup graham flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack placed in the lower third. Generously butter one 28-ounce can (or two 15 1/2-ounce cans). Set a kettle of water to a boil.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together graham and rye flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in sour cream, molasses, and water. Fold in raisins, if using. Pour batter into prepared can.

  3. Place can in a deep pot with a tight-fitting lid (foil may also be used) and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the can. Cover the pot and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours for 28-ounce bread or about 55 minutes for 15 1/2-ounce breads.

  4. Remove can from water and let cool slightly on a wire rack. Turn out bread, shaking can if necessary to loosen. Return to rack to cool completely.

Reviews Add a comment

  • jswall
    6 MAR, 2017
    What is graham flour?
  • reenie1_us
    8 JAN, 2017
    Fantastic! My grandmother, who lived her summers in the Adirondacks and cooked with a wood stove, would make cans of Boston Brown Bread; we loved them. She was a fan of raisins, but would make them without for me. This is a nice recipe, and not only tastes good with butter, but with cream cheese, as my grandmother at it. Thank you!