Steamed Harvest Bread

Steaming is a method of cooking that was used for centuries before ovens were found in every home. Although it takes longer to cook breads by steaming, the cooking time is quite flexible. A steamed bread can cook long past its finishing time without substantially changing, unlike an oven-baked bread which will pass from done to scorched in a matter of minutes. This is because steamed breads cook at the temperature at which water boils (212°F) rather than the 350°F at which quick breads are commonly baked.

Here's a formula for a steamed bread that will make use of apples, pumpkins, squash and other autumn abundance. Eggs aside, it includes no fat, so if you are looking for a filling, high-energy, vitamin-rich snack with a minimum of calories, give this a try. Steamed bread makes a great, quick breakfast, an afternoon pick-me-up or a tasty accompaniment for supper. The spices can be varied to enhance the flavor of the vegetable or fruit used. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg are always good and, strangely enough, so is a bit of white or black pepper.

30 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
one 2-quart loaf
Steamed Harvest Bread - select to zoom
Steamed Harvest Bread - select to zoom
Steamed Harvest Bread - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Grease a 2-quart pudding mold. Bring a teakettle of water to a boil.

  2. Mix together the flours, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.

  3. In another bowl, beat together the yogurt, eggs, sugar and vegetable or fruit. Blend this mixture into the dry ingredients.

  4. Place the batter in the mold. Fill about two-thirds full. Place the lid on the pudding mold.

  5. Place the mold in a kettle or saucepan on top of something (a vegetable steamer or crinkled tin foil will do) to keep them off the bottom of the pan. The pan should be deep enough so its lid can cover the pudding mold.

  6. Fill the pan with boiling water two-thirds of the way up the mold.

  7. Cover, bring the water back to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Steam the pudding mold for about 2 hours, adding water if necessary. (See "tips," below.)

  8. Store, well-wrapped, for 3 days in the fridge, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If the batter seems too much for the mold, grease a custard cup and bake the remainder in the oven, or preview the finished product as a pancake!
  • Want to use fresh pumpkin purée rather than canned? It’s simple to make your own; see how it’s done.