February 8, 2017

Hobo Bread

Hobo Bread

A simple raisin bread baked in tin cans and sliced into little rounds of sweetness.

This recipe comes from my mom’s very old hand written recipe card that is now brown with age. I remember her pulling that card out of her metal recipe box to make this bread when my sisters and I were kids. She always baked this raisin bread in Campbell Soup cans. Thus, the idea of Hobo Bread came about. Or, so the story goes.

I remember asking my mom if that’s the way hobos made their bread. She said, yes, that’s why they saved their soup cans. But what about an oven, I asked. They’d bake it over an open fire, she said. As kids, we loved stories like that, and we believed them. But we also loved that this bread baked in a can produced clever little rounds of sweetness.

Your kids will love helping you make this bread because of the fun element. And the little slices are perfect for little hands. Pop them into the toaster oven and smear them with some butter or peanut butter for breakfast. Put them in lunch boxes for a sweet treat. Or, as an appetizer, top them with chicken salad. That will be featured in my next post.

I didn’t use Campbell Soup cans because these days, the cans have an inner lip due to the pop-top opening. That would prevent the bread from sliding out of the can. I used the tins from canned clams because of the size of the opening, which measures 2 and 5/8 inches in diameter.  Any small can about that size will do, but try to keep the diameter of the opening close to that. Otherwise, be sure to adjust your baking time. This bread also freezes well. Freeze it whole, wrapped and in a freezer zip lock bag. 

So, start saving those cans and have some fun making this bread with the kids. They'll love it.

Hobo Bread

Makes 4 cans

  • 4 tin cans
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Combine the raisins, butter, and boiling water. Set aside until cool.

In another bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the cooled raisin mixture.

Add the flour, baking soda, and pinch of salt.

Spray or grease the tins. Divide the batter into the four cans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Bread is done when a barbecue stick comes out clean. 

Wait 10 minutes before removing bread. It should slide out easily. Slice and enjoy. Or freeze whole.

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