Easy Baked Brown Bread
This no fail recipe for baked brown bread is from the grandmother of my friend, Carolyn Turner. I have tried many brown bread recipes,this one is by far the best tasting, and the easiest to make. The brown bread is moist, baked in cans, and fun for children to make with you. Use melted butter and make the brown bread exactly as described. Trust me, if you like baked brown bread, this recipe is a winner. Thanks Gram Harcourt for passing this wonderful recipe to your granddaughter Carolyn!
The only issue I have recently discovered is that the large size soup cans,
at least the ones that I tried, have a bottom that is hard to open and the top
lip is narrower than the inside of the can as the cans now have tabs for easy opening.
Although the brown bread was completely loose in the can sprayed with cooking spray, I could not get the bread out of the can. My husband had no problem, but used an interesting technique. There is no suction problem he explained to me, the lip of the can is made too narrow, so he patiently and gently put his fingers in the can and gently gave the bread a slight touch, so that it would be a bit narrower for a second, and that portion would proceed out of the can. He continued to do this until the entire round brown bread was out of the can completely in one piece. As soon as he went on to the next section the first expanded back and the new section emerged from the can, all in one piece and beautiful. He did it so that the lip not cut into the brown bread --- truly remarkable. Next time I will study all the cans at the grocery to see if they are all now made this way. Worst case scenario, I buy cans of brown bread and save those cans for Gram Harcourt's fantastic brown bread, better than any you can ever find in a grocery store.
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups boiling water
Mix the above and let the mixture cool. When cool, add the ingredients below, but do not overmix.
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar (3/4 white and 3/4 brown) (use 2 cups sugar for sweeter brown bread)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (ground nuts may be used or nuts omitted)
5 empty "chunky" soup cans sprayed on the inside with Pam
Fill the five cans, which have been sprayed with Pam, 1/2 full and smooth the tops. Don't try to fill four cans as the mixture will overflow -- use five cans and fill each 1/2 full. If the cans are smaller than "chunky" soup cans, more than five cans will be needed. Bake at 325 F. for 50-60 minutes. After the cans are baked and cooled, open the closed end of the can and push the baked brown bread through, slice and serve.