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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Recipe for Cowboy bread

Makes one loaf

A gentrified descendant of the traditional pan de campo (camp bread), this simple spice loaf is said to have originated on the dusty trail to give riders a small piece of home and comfort. The first recipe probably used lard or oil instead of butter, and molasses instead of brown sugar, both staples on chuck wagons and trail rides. Baked in a heavy Dutch oven over a glowing campfire, the bread, which is like coffeecake, gained popularity and eventually made its way into home kitchens. Nowadays, a standard glass loaf pan (8½ by 4½ inches) steps in for the cast iron and a few extra spices support the standard cinnamon.

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