Gluten-Free Boston Brown Bread Recipe

Elizabeth Barbone

This recipe makes a classic Boston brown bread. The sturdy loaf goes well with either breakfast or dinner (or eaten as a snack!).

Note: If you don't have two unlined 28-ounce cans on hand, bake this loaf in a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. The results are similar.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 6 servings

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  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 4 ounces (3/4 cup) gluten-free cornmeal

  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) sorghum flour

  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) brown rice flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1/2 cup dark (robust) or regular molasses

  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower postion. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 28-ounce cans or one 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Fill a Dutch oven or roasting pan large enough to fir the cans with enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the cans, about two inches. (If using a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan, heat about four cups of water.) Bring water to a simmer.

  2. While water heats, whisk together cornmeal, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Add buttermilk and molasses. Whisk until smooth. If using raisins, gently stir into the batter. Divide batter evenly among the two cans or spread batter evenly into loaf pan. Cover cans or loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper. Secure parchment with a large rubber pan. If you don't have parchment paper, use a piece of greased foil.

  3. Carefully transfer the cans to the simmering water. Cover the Dutch oven with the lid. If using loaf pan, nest the loaf pan in a 13- by 9-inch pan. Carefully pour simmering water into the 13- by 9-inch pan. Water should reach halfway up the loaf pan. Cover 13- by 9-inch pan with foil. Transfer to oven and bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, about 90 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully remove lid or foil (steam will escape as you do this.) Remove cans or pan from the water. Allow bread to cool in the can or pan for about five minutes. Turn bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Special equipment

2 unlined 28-ounce cans or one 9- by 5-inch loaf pan; Dutch oven or 13 by 9-inch pan; parchment paper

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
269 Calories
2g Fat
59g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 269
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 418mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 22%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 132mg 10%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 614mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)