Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans & Boston Brown Bread

I did it! Baked beans and bread from scratch. A LOT of molasses. 8 hours in slow cooker, more than 2 hours in the oven… The beans aren’t mushy, with great flavor, but a little too sweet for us. I made vegetarian version and did not use salted pork or bacon. Brown bread is good, not perfect, but good. It was a great experience. Recipes adapted from Simply Recipes.

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For baked beans:

Yield: 5 servings (about 5 1/2 oz. each)

1 pound (2 to 2 1/4 cups) dry beans (I used small red beans)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used brown sugar blend with Splenda)
4 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups hot water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. salt

Place beans in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Soak overnight, drain.

Mix the molasses, brown sugar, mustard, salt and ground cloves with 3 cups of hot water.

Put half of the drained beans in slow cooker. Add all of the onions in a layer, then top with another layer of beans. Pour the molasses water mixture over the beans.

Cover and cook on the low setting for 8-9 hours, until the beans are tender.

1 serving is about 140 calories

For brown bread:

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Yield: 10 slices

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup finely ground corn meal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup molasses (I used mild)
1 cup buttermilk (I used Kefir with some water)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

One metal 6-inch tall by 4-inch diameter coffee can (I used smaller one and it was a big mistake)

Preheat the oven to 325° and bring a high pot (oven-proof) of water to a boil.

Grease the coffee can with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, rye flour, corn meal, baking powder and soda, salt and allspice.

In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, vanilla extract and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well with a spoon.

Pour the batter into the coffee can taking care that the batter not reach higher than 2/3 up the sides of the container.

Cover the coffee can tightly with foil, put  it into pot with water in one third up the side. Put the pot into the oven. Steam the bread for at least 2 hours and 15 minutes. Check to see if the bread is done by inserting a toothpick into it.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before putting on a rack. Let the bread cool for 1 hour before turning out of the container.

1 slice is about 125 calories

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