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Steamed Brown Bread

Serves 24

1 C whole-wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C buttermilk
2/3 C molasses
1 C raisins

Lightly coat the inside of two 1-lb coffee cans with cooking spray. Line the
bottom of each can with a piece of waxed paper cut to fit. Pour several inches
of water into a large pot that has a rack in the bottom and is deep enough to
hold both cans when covered with a lid. Bring the water to a boil.

Combine the flours with the cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the buttermilk, molasses, and raisins, mixing well. Divide the batter between the two cans. Cover the open top of each can with a piece of foil coated with cooking spray, coated side down. Tie the foil in place with string. Place the cans, foil end up, on the rack in the pot and cover tightly with the lid. Steam the bread for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Add more water as necessary to keep the pot from boiling dry. Transfer the cans to a 350° oven and bake for 10 minutes. Cool the bread in the can for 30 minutes. Remove the string and foil. Use a can opener to detach the lid from the bottom of the can; push the lid through the can, so it forces the bread out of the can. To serve, cut each loaf into 6 slices and then out each slice in half.

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