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Old-Fashioned Hobo Bread (Bread In A Can)

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Old-Fashioned Hobo Bread (Bread In A Can)

Hobo Bread has been around for years. It is an old fashioned recipe that dates back as far as the pioneers. There are hundreds of different variations of hobo bread around; many that use different methods and ingredients. Some contain eggs, others contain shortening, but this recipe is the most authentic, and was submitted by a reader in 1993. It’s still delicious today as it was then.

The “gimmick,” of course, is that the loaves are baked in coffee cans, which are hard to find these days as many coffee cans are not “cans” at all, but plastic. And they are not 16 oz anymore, either—more like 12 oz. But if you can’t find metal cans, you can always bake the batter in muffin tins or a loaf pan and still achieve a delicious result.

Old-Fashioned Hobo Bread


2 ½ cups leftover coffee
4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups raisins
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups flour, sifted
1 ½ cups chopped nuts
¼ teaspoon salt

Bring coffee to a boil; remove from heat. Add baking soda and raisins. Cover and allow to stand overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three metal coffee cans (remove labels) and set aside. In a large bowl, add sugars, flour, nuts, and salt to coffee/raisin mixture. Mix well.

Bake 65 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in cans before removing—remove by cutting open the other end and pushing the bread through. Slice and serve with cream cheese or butter. Makes 3 loaves.
– Submitted by Marilynn Marter, 1993


1 Trish Poirier { 04.14.19 at 9:19 am }

My oldest friend gave me this recipe years ago. Just plain water, not coffee, and 1/4 cup oil minus the nuts. I’m making it this morning but I feel the strongest urge to add the oil and I will. 😊

2 Susan Higgins { 02.06.19 at 4:29 pm }

Janice, terrific! Let us know how it turns out!

3 Janice { 02.06.19 at 3:27 pm }

😀 been soaking the raisins, and chopped the nuts. Lucky me, I found 16oz metal cans. My mom would make this for our family camp trips. I can’t wait for this, memories from a can!

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