What Is Canned Bread?

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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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The term canned bread refers to two distinct methods of making bread. One method utilizes standard wide shoulder glass canning jars in which the bread is bakes. In the second case, the dough is prepared and baked in recycled metal coffee cans or other cans of similar size.

Canned bread is something of a misnomer because it suggests a similarity with fruits, vegetables, meats, and pickled foods that are canned in glass jars and can be kept unrefrigerated for long periods of time. Whether the bread is canned using a glass canning jar or canned and baked in a discarded metal can, it must be consumed in a relatively short period of time. Refrigeration extends the shelf life of either type of canned bread but not significantly. Canned bread that won’t be eaten within two to three weeks should be frozen in order to avoid spoilage or mold growth.

Most recipes for canned breads are specifically tea breads or other types of sweetened breads. Recipes frequently call for dried fruit, bananas, and a variety of nuts in addition to the expected flour, eggs, and baking powder. Baking soda, sugar, butter, or oil are also essentials, along with yeast in some cases. Canned pumpkin is another common ingredient. Some recipes substitute or add shredded vegetables such as carrots or zucchini.


Some cooks make bread that more closely resembles sandwich bread in coffee cans. This type of canned bread uses standard savory bread-making ingredients, including white wheat or rye flour, yeast, and a small amount of sugar. Oil or butter and a pinch of salt are also needed. Some cooks add fresh or dried herbs, cottage or pot cheese, milk, or other flavorings.

Whether the canned bread is being baked in canning jars or recycled metal coffee cans, its preparation shares some common elements. Both glass or metal interiors must be well coated with fat so that the entire loaf will be easier to loosen and extract for slicing. The dough for both sweet and savory types of canned bread is considerably softer than for traditional kneaded bread; this allows the batter to be poured into the baking form.

Making canned bread can be a nice project for children. The ingredients are easy to measure and mix, and children are delighted by the unexpected type of cooking form. Homemade canned breads that contain walnuts, bananas, or dried fruit, such as raisins, blueberries, apples, or cranberries, make lovely holiday gifts as well.


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Post 3

I love giving and receiving homemade items as gifts and I use a tried and true canned pumpkin bread recipe for one of my favorites. It does not take very long to make a few batches, and you can have several gifts ready to go that you people will really enjoy. I like to use the decorative holiday wraps and ribbons that make them look so festive.

I can't imagine a winter holiday without some homemade pumpkin bread or banana bread with some black walnuts in it!

Post 2

@andee - Your mom was probably recycling those soup cans before it was the green thing to do! My mom did not make the bread in a can, but used a glass canning jar. Growing up, I just thought everybody did that! The glass jars would have a similar shape to the soup cans.

We baked many loaves of bread this way and wrapped them up for Christmas gifts for friends and family. I didn't appreciate then how special it is to receive a homemade gift like that.

Post 1

I saw "Canned Bread" and wondered what in the world that was! I realized after reading the article that I have made it several times! My mom always made her banana and pumpkin bread in soup cans. They really did work great because the size was a little smaller than a regular loaf.

Sometimes when I make banana bread in a loaf pan, the outside is almost too done while the inside is still gooey. When I make it in a soup can, you don't have as much batter in there so they it seems to bake more evenly. They are also easy to slice and look nice an a serving tray.

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