How to Make Steamed Bread on Top of Your Stove

Bake moist, delicious, sweet dessert breads right on top of your stove.

| November/December 1976

Got a large pot and some empty coffee cans? According to Ruth Ross of Spring Valley, New York, that's all the equipment it takes to cook up some of the richest, moistest, most health ful dessert breads (and dinner breads and any-old-time breads) you've ever laid tongue to!

Moist and delicate, slightly sweet and abounding with bits of fruit . . . it's the fanciest bread of all! You know what I'm talking about: date-nut loaves. The ones that go great with cream cheese . . . and cost about $1.17 a pound. (Then too, who can resist those deliciously tender loaves-in-a-can known as Boston brown bread? Their velvety slices transform a simple baked-bean supper into a glorious meal . . . but at 75¢ a can, what price glory?)

No doubt about it, these wonderfully rich, tawny brown loaves are a sheer delight to eat. But the price! Alas, that's what's hard to swallow.

On the other hand, I can show you how to make these same delicacies at home . . . without an oven, without kneading, without using white flour or sugar, and without the sky-high price tags. All you need are [1] a few one-pound coffee cans, [2] a pot (with cover) large enough to hold them, [3] some cookie cutters to support the coffee tins inside the pot, and [4] a single burner atop a stove. I call this my Basic Steaming Kit, and I use it to steam-bake a variety of delectable breads and cakes for just pennies per loaf.  

Here's How to Do It

First, I make up a batter . . . then I grease my coffee cans, fill 'em about halfway (to allow for rising), and cover each one snugly with a plastic lid or aluminum foil. Next, I set the dough-laden containers on cookie cutters in the bottom of a deep pot, fill that pot with just enough water to submerge the cutters, and set the whole works on a burner. Finally, I cover the pot and let it simmer for about two hours . . . until the neat, cylindrical loaves are done to perfection.

Incidentally, it's not necessary to hover over that steaming pot for those two hours either . . . you can go off and read a book, if you want. (It is a good idea, however, to check from time to time to make sure that all the water hasn't boiled away.)

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