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Dependable Quick Bread

April 22nd, 2021

Dependable Quick Bread

By Odessa Piper

I invite you to be creative with this delicious, dependable Quick Bread recipe. Our master recipe is based on a classic steamed Boston Brown Bread introduced by a third-year Food Artisan Immersion Program Participant. From a base of whole-grain rye flour and whole cornmeal, go on to make it your own with the odd syrups, spices, dry fruits, meals found in the back shelves of your pandemic challenged pantry. The batter is cooked by steam baking in jelly jars (or cans) set in a pot of hot water in the oven.  The log-shaped mini loaves slice neatly. The crumb is rich, moist, and toothsome. It keeps for weeks in the fridge (if you can resist) and handy to use for either sweet or savory applications.

BROWN BREAD INGREDIENTS    Yield 2 ½  C batter

1 cup Liquid*

1 tsp Mild or Sweet Vinegar, or Lemon Juice

⅓ cup Syrup*

½ cup Whole Corn Meal (preferably course)

½  cup Whole Rye Flour (preferably whole grain)

2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour

½ cup Pantry Flour or Meal*

1 to 3  tsp  Ground Spice Combinations*

¼ tsp Salt

1 ½  tsp Baking Soda

1 cup Diced Dried Fruit, Candied Fruit Combination*

1 Tbsp Butter or Oil to Baste Containers


  • 5 Cup-Size or 2 pint-size,wide-mouth canning jars (or repurposed Jelly jars) or tin cans
  • Tinfoil & rubber bands (tip: the flat lid of a canning jar works great to cover the jelly jars)
  • Pot snuggly sized to jars that can hold water two-thirds up the sides of the jars.
  • Pot lid or tin foil (to hold steam in pot).
  • Bowl, whisk, spatula, basting brush,
  • hot pads, boiling water, oven


  • Select your 5 pantry variable ingredients (liquid, flour, spice, fruit) and measure them out
  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Boil 1 ½ -2 Quarts of water and keep hot
  • Baste containers & lids with melted butter or oil
  • Have tin foil and rubber bands ready


  • Combine all dry ingredients and fruit in a medium-size bowl and set aside
  • Combine all wet (liquid, vinegar, syrup ) in another bowl
  • Add the wet to dry and completely combine
  • Distribute batter into jars (5 for small or 2 for large)
  • Fit tops with tin foil secured by a rubber band. Fold excess foil back over rubber band so water will not seep
  • Place jars in the pot. Pour boiling water to come 2/3 way up the sides of the jar.
  • Move into the pre-heated oven and close the lid, or use tin foil to cover the pot.
  • Bake the 1 cup size for 50 minutes. Bake the pint-size for 60 minutes.
  • Transfer pot to stovetop. Poke a large hole in tin foil to release steam, then carefully remove.
  • Toothpick which should come out clean. If not return to the oven (no lid) for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove jars from water when safe to handle. Remove tops and set upside down on a cooling rack.
  • Loaves will release and pop down as they cool. Wrap tightly.
  • Brown breads may be returned to clean jars with a lid screwed down for storage or gifts.


LIQUID* Select any one or combination of the following.
Juices such as Cider, Cranberry, Currant, Grape, Pomegranate, Mango,
Any sour dairy such as Buttermilk, or Yogurt diluted with water, or Sour Cream
Water, Milk, Oat, Soy, or Almond milk. These have no acidity to activate the baking soda so don’t forget the 1 teaspoon vinegar (Rice, Balsamic, or Fruit Vinegars all work) or Lemon Juice!

SYRUP*  Select any one of the following
Molasses, Sorghum, Maple Syrup, Golden Syrup, Dark Or Light Corn Syrup, Honey, Agave, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Boiled Cider, Fruit Syrup

FLOUR OR MEAL* Select any one or combination of the following. If in doubt you can also just increase the recipe’s whole Rye and Cornmeal to ¾ C each
Any nut meal from Almond, Hazelnut, Pecan, Walnut, (no nut butter!)
Wheat Germ, Wheat Bran, Hemp Seed
Roughly ground rolled Oats, Granola, Kasha, Grape Nuts Cereal
Any course whole grain Flour such as Wheat, Spelt, Einkorn, Kamut,

GROUND SPICES * – the amount varies depending on strength of the spice selected. If in doubt make 2 of the three total teaspoons of ginger, then add one or two other spices to bring it up to three.

Spices that can be used up to 3 tsp-   ginger, cinnamon, coriander,
Spices that can be used up to 1 tsp- nutmeg, allspice, star anise,
Spices that can be used up to ½ tsp- cardamom, cloves, or chile flakes,

DRIED OR  CANDIED FRUIT* So many fruits, so little time, so combine!
Apricot, Fig, Date, Raisin, Craisin, Persimmon, Pineapple, Cherry, Apple, pear
Candied Ginger, citrus peel
Rum or whiskey-soaked dried fruit


Maple Syrup, Pecan Meal, Nutmeg, Dried Ground Cherries Or Pears
‘Pain d’Epices’ -Honey, Ginger, Star Anise, Wheat Germ,
‘Fruit cake’- Ground Almonds, Rum Syrup, Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, Fruits Macerated In Rum,


Bread recipe created for Taliesin Preservation by Odessa Piper and the Food Artisan Immersion Program

Email me at if questions.

Share your versions on social media @taliesinwi #taliesinpreservation