a bowl of homemade baked beans

Homemade Baked Beans

This is my mother’s recipe for Homemade Baked Beans. It came from her grandmother Allyne Dyer. One of my favourite childhood memories was going to Grammy Dyer’s for Sunday dinners. My great-grandparents did not have a lot of money so meals were simple. 

We had these baked beans or sometimes baked peas and homemade bread. A roast of pork, chicken or turkey was special. In summer, there’d be loads of vegetables fresh from Puppa Dyer’s garden. And, there’d always be a few kinds of pie to finish. Grammy was famous for her pies. I marvel that she made all this goodness in a wood-burning oven. 

Family gatherings and wholesome homemade food. What else do you really need? I hope this recipe conjures up some fond family memories for you. If not, here’s a chance to savour it all and make some with your family. 

Homemade Baked Beans

Time: 2.5 – 3 hours plus soaking overnight Yield: 8 – 10 servings

Equipment: Dutch Oven or Bean Crock

  • 1 lb kidney beans
  • Water to cover
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Keen’s mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 small onions, peeled but left whole
  • 4 slices of bacon, quartered (optional for vegetarians)
  • ⅔ cup blackstrap molasses

  1. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with twice as much cold water. Soak overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and rinse again, then place in a large dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil on high heat. 
  3. Skim any foam, lower the heat slightly and simmer until the skins start to crack – approximately 1 hour. Test for doneness – they should split easily when pierced with a fork.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar, salt, pepper, mustard powder, ginger and baking soda.
  5. Add the onions and cover the top of the mixture with the bacon. 
  6. Cover with a lid and bake in a 350℉ oven for 90 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven and add the molasses.
  8. Cook for about 60 minutes more or until the onions are soft and the bacon is firm.
  9. Enjoy with fresh bread like these oat buns and a crunchy coleslaw or salad.

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