Hobo bread may have originated in the 1930’s with the transient workers who rode the rails in freight cars across the United States as reported by some. Even if it did not, it seems likely that this originated as a “poor person’s food” because it is known for being baked in a previously used can…usually a coffee can.
Because hobo bread is traditionally baked in tins (jars also work well), it is great to make while camping; to take to camping, tail gating and picnicking; or to present as a gift.
Hobo bread is a type of quick bread. It is does not require yeast, proofing, or kneading. It is a moist, dessert-like bread.
While recipes for Hobo bread vary greatly, they all seem to contain raisins. Many of the recipes have eggs and milk also, but I found one in my cookbook collection that did not have either. So, what did I do? I changed the recipe to include more fiber, different sweeteners, and dried fruit, still no eggs or milk. I just think if the bread really originated with Hobos they may not have had eggs and milk to make it. (Okay, they probably did not have vanilla either.) Plus, I can serve it to my vegan friends.
I made the bread pictured with raisins and dates. Other dried fruit like blueberries and cranberries make good, albeit nontraditional, hobo bread.