Hazel and I both got pretty excited about baking in cans. It’s an old, old technique–as the stuff Mom always called Boston brown bread attests. That bread is not even baked, it’s steamed, which means it’s older than enclosed ovens.
Then Chris Valada offered me the loan of a baking accoutrement I’d never seen: adorable aluminum baking cans/molds. How could I resist? One square, one sort of star-shaped, one scalloped. Oh, boy! I made an orange bread in two of them. Given my experience with one-pound cans, I filled one of them two-thirds and other only half full. Well, two-thirds was still too full, sothere was a certain amount of waste. Not too mention goo on the bottom of the oven.
But the sandwiches we made were yummy! We sliced the bread thin and topped it with whipped cream cheese and slices of radish. The result was unusual and refreshing–and they disappeared within minutes.
The bread recipe, based on one from Joy of Cooking:
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the pans or cans (two 8×4-inch loaf pans or four one-pound cans). Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then whisk in the zest to distribute it evenly. Beat the wet ingredients and pour them into the dry ingredients. Stir them together quickly (this a quick bread, after all), just until the batter comes together. Scrape the batter into the pans or cans (don’t fill those cans much more than half full to avoid oven clean-up). Bake for about 50 minutes. Cool, then unmold.