Native Americans made bread in tin containers by placing the can of bread dough in a pot of boiling water. The resulting steamed bread was moist inside and out, unlike an oven or fire pit-baked bread with a harder crust. Canned bread can be made at home or over a campfire. This simple-to-make type of bread can be served with any meal or as a snack, offering a delicious alternative to everyday bread and rolls.
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Things you need
- 0.454kg. coffee can, empty
- Dishwashing liquid
- Dish towel
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- Wooden spoon
- 1/3 cup dark molasses
- 1 cup milk
- Rubber spatula
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Aluminium foil
- Oven-safe dutch oven
- Oven gloves
- Cooling rack
Wash an empty 0.454kg. aluminium coffee can with dishwashing liquid and warm water. Rinse well and dry with a clean dish towel.
Rub 1 tbsp unsalted butter around the interior sides and bottom of the coffee can. This prevents the bread from sticking to the inside of the can after you've baked it.
Pour the wheat flour, rye flour and cornmeal into a mixing bowl. Add baking soda and salt to the flour mixture in the bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon, mixing them well.
Pour the dark molasses and milk into the mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients together using an electric mixer. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with the rubber spatula and continue to blend.
Stir the golden raisins into the brown bread mixture using the wooden spoon.
Preheat the oven to 163 degrees Celsius. Pour the brown bread dough batter into the greased coffee can, filling the can about two-thirds of the way. This ensures the bread batter has room to expand as it bakes without overflowing the coffee can.
Cover the coffee can with aluminium foil, then tie string around the can and foil to keep the foil tight over the can.
Fill an oven-safe dutch oven one-third of the way with boiling water. Place the coffee can in the water. The water should rise to the halfway point of the can; add more water if necessary.
Set the dutch oven with the bread can inside it in the oven. Steam the bread for two hours or until a fork inserted into the bread comes out clean. Add more boiling water to the dutch oven after one hour if the level falls below the halfway point on the can.
Wearing oven gloves, remove the dutch oven and coffee can from the oven. Place the coffee can on a cooling rack, closed end facing down. Carefully remove the string and aluminium foil from the top of the can and allow the bread to cool completely in the can. Use a can opener to remove the end of the coffee can when you're ready to remove your bread from the can. Tap one end of the can on a counter to loosen the bread and allow it to slowly drop down from the can.
Tips and warnings
- Before adding the raisins to the dough, place them in a bowl and submerge them in water. Soak for an hour to plump up the raisins and make them more juicy.
- Serve canned bread with butter, cream cheese or marmalade.
- The aluminium can holds heat from the oven and boiling water. Use an oven glove and caution when removing from the oven to avoid burns.
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