The hallmark to Boston brown bread recipes is a tight crumb that’s moist and sweetened with molasses. We love it sliced and served with baked beans, brisket, and greens. Traditionally steamed, this updated take on brown bread has a crisp baked crust. Whole-wheat flour and cornmeal add heartiness while molasses and dried figs contribute sweet depth.
Boston Brown Bread with a Twist
Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice California Figs add a chewy texture to Boston brown bread recipes. Golden Figs impart a subtle sweetness and nuttiness whereas Mission Figs add earthy intense sweetness. Either way you go, figs will become an essential ingredient in the bread.
Two Bowl Baking Project
The recipe bakes up two loaf pans—one to bake, one to freeze or gift. In one bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, baking soda, figs and salt. In a second bowl, whisk the wet ingredients: buttermilk, molasses, oil, and egg. Then, using a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
Pour half the batter into each prepared pan and bake. One thing to consider is you’ll need to cool the bread in the pans on a wire rack to set the loaves before removing the loaves from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Eat the bread warmed or at room temperature.
The bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Boston Brown Bread with California Figs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg large, lightly beaten
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, baking soda, figs and salt together in bowl. Whisk buttermilk, molasses, oil, and egg together in another bowl. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until combined.
- Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool bread in pans on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature. (Bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)