Boston Brown Bread seems to have originated in Colonial New England, when their food resources dictated the most readily available ingredients and their creativity did the rest.
Due to the limited availability of wheat, this bread was made with a mixture of rye flour, cornmeal, and wheat flour. Buttermilk and molasses are the additional ingredients in the most common recipes, creating a flavorful, savory taste. Boston Brown Bread is traditionally served warm and is a perfect accompaniment to baked beans on a cold winter day.
Because ovens were not commonplace in most households at that time, making bread by steaming it in a pot over an open flame was customary. Unlike oven baking that tends to dry, steaming this quick bread keeps it wonderfully moist, as it only cooks at water’s boiling point (212°F, or approximately 203°F for higher altitudes). This method helps to keep the bread from overcooking.