Steamed Brown Bread with Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer

Wee Crock o’ Boston Baked Beans.

I made Baked Beans today. I took a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and compared it to a recipe from The New All-Purpose Joy of Cooking 1997. I like Bittman’s approach using expandable recipes. I have two editions of Joy, an older edition from the 70’s and the new one from 1997. I would like to get the most recent version as well. These books are full of such great information and techniques in addition to the recipes. When I use a cook book I rarely use the recipe verbatim (unless I am baking. Baking is a science that demands respect). I usually open up a couple books with recipes for the dish I am trying to make and then create something that borrows from each – whether it be an ingredient or a technique.

I remember eating baked beans when I was a kid. One of the best parts of this meal was the brown bread with cream cheese. We used to make this bread from scratch, baking it in empty coffee cans. It was fun to open the closed end when finished baking and push the loaf out the other side. The dark, sweet, round slices were a real novelty smeared with the white cream cheese.

So, I decided to bake brown bread. I used the Joy recipe and cleaned up some cans for the molds. Unfortunately, these were the new-fangled cans that have a rounded bottom that you can’t grab hold of with a can opener. I am glad I realized this before backing the bread. Would have been a mess getting the loaves out (visions of blow torches and face masks).

I used a small spring form pan instead. I buttered the bottom plate of a slightly larger spring form pan to cover the one with the batter in it. I placed a rock on the lid to keep the dough compressed as it baked and placed the whole shebang in the steamer basket of the Mehu-Liisa, started the water boiling and set the timer for 45 minutes.

I used a large mouth canning band to level the convex bottom of the steamer basket and to raise the mold up off the floor of the basket.

Here is the mold with the buttered plate sitting on top. I have set it down centered on top of the band in the bottom of the steamer basket.

I placed this heavy quartz rock on top of the buttered plate to weight it down. I hoped that the rock’s weight would be sufficient to compress the loaf as it was rising during steaming.

Inside this Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer is a luscious brown bread rising. Who said the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer was just for juicing?!

After 45 minutes I put more water in the water pan and set the timer again for 45 mins. This way I was sure not to run out of water in the water pan. After 1.5 hours, I tested the bread and decided it needed 30 more minutes. I did this by sticking a wooden skewer, very slender, into the very middle of the bread to see if it was clean when it came out. It was clean but stuck a little on the draw out. That’s why I decided more time was necessary. 30 more minutes.

This is after 1.5 hours. I have tested with a wooden skewer, you can see the tiny hole in the middle of the loaf.

So after another 30 minutes (2 hours in all) I lifted the loaf out of the steamer and let it cool for 15 mins. It came out of the spring form very easily. Incidentally, the plate and stone lid worked well to contain the swelling loaf during the steaming. The batter filled the form about 3/4 full and raised to push up against the bottom of the lid. Here it is:

Here is the loaf out of the spring form and cooling on a rack in front of the peach juice from yesterday.

A resounding success! I will definitely do this again. I can imagine it will work for plum pudding and other steamed dishes:

Mehu-Liisa Steamed Brown Bread and Cream Cheese. Wonderful. Can’t wait for the beans to be done!

Well, I got to go stir the beans. Let me know if you have any great ideas for using the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer.

Take Care – Daniel

About dheila62

Owner of Mehu-Liisa Products, importer of the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer from Finland.
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