The Bread Board

The Bread Board

A recipe for rainy days: Boston baked beans

a recipe for rainy days

There is something truly comforting about the simple dish that is baked beans and toast. On a brooding winter’s day as the rain pelts against the windows of the local café, washing away any motivation for that day’s plans – a classic homemade baked beans dish is a remedy for dampened spirits.

For some, memories of the saucy dish are confined to a can, whilst others have more intimate memories of hearty dishes created from a family recipe. Whilst, we have an unconditional fondness for the classic can of variety of baked beans, this particular article hopes to inspire sharpened knives, simmering pots and crusty Bakers Maison bread rolls to serve.

The many ingredients of a great pot of baked beans can vary from scrap book to scrap book, but there is no recipe to beat a Grandma’s. So, in the spirit of lovely elderly ladies we have taken some creative inspiration from Australia’s Grandmas of cooking and adjusted to accommodate for a commercial kitchen (and our own taste).

Note: These beans deserve to be served with a freshly from the oven Bakers Maison Rustic Baguette, lathered with a little butter to help keep you warm in colder months!



1.5kg dried cannelini beans soaked overnight in plenty of cold water

6 tbspn mustard powder

1/2 cup treacle

1/2 cup soft brown sugar

6 cloves of garlic

1 tbspn fennel seeds

6 sprigs of thyme

3 large onions halved

350g smoked pork belly or speck; rind removed and cut into large pieces

5 bay leaves

7 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large tin chopped tomatoes

2 tbspn tomato paste

3/4 cup Aged Red Wine Vinegar

salt flakes to taste

1 tspn freshly cracked black pepper to taste

basil chopped for garnish

1 cup vegetable or beef stock (just in case it gets a little dry)

Bakers Maison Par-Baked Rustic Baguette/s to serve


  1. Drain and rinse beans, then place in a large saucepan, cover with water and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer gently over low heat (use a simmer mat if necessary) for 45 minutes or until just tender, then drain and leave to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, combine mustard powder and one tablespoon of water to make a paste, then stir in the treacle and brown sugar.
  3. Preheat fan-forced oven to 140°C (285°F).
  4. Insert one clove into each onion half, then place in a large, ovenproof heavy-based saucepan, casserole or deep frying pan with smoked pork belly, bay leaves, fennel seeds and a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and mustard mixture and stir to combine. Add thyme and a splash of stock for good measure. Add the beans, then cover with foil or a lid, and bake for 1½–2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. It’s always nice if the pork is tender too, so try a piece to make sure.
  6. Stir in the Aged Red Wine Vinegar, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through the mint. Taste, and if you find that the beans are too sweet, add a little more Aged Red Wine Vinegar before serving.

It’s important to check the beans as the dish is cooked, depending on their freshness and size of the batch; the recipe can take a while longer. 

Croutons to accentuate those winter meals
The stone bake range

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