Because the result is so moist, baking and/or steaming bread in cans is an old-fashioned tradition people still ask about. Two readers–Sandra S. and Mary S.– requested this recipe they remembered seeing in the ChicagoTribune 43 years ago. We’ve adapted it to include instructions from an earlier, 1953 recipe that suggests covering the tops of the cans with a greased baking sheet.
Makes 5, 12-ounce-can loaves
- 1 cup (8-ounce pkg) diced dates
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 Tbsp soft butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Place dates and raisins in bowl. Add soda and boiling water. Cover and let stand.
- Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, then egg, and beat well. Add flour, mix until moistened. Pour in fruit mixture, including liquid, and pecans, and mix gently to prevent crushing the fruits.
- Generously grease cans, being very careful not to cut yourself on top of can.
- Turn dough into prepared cans, filling each 2/3 full with dough, pressing down with spoon. Place cans on a baking sheet and cover tops of cans with inverted, greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, or until bread tests done.
- Slice thin and serve with whipped cream cheese made by whipping a few tablespoons of milk with cream cheese.