Baked Beans with Bacon & Molasses
- Place beans in a large bowl and cover with cool water, soak overnight.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Drain beans then add them to a Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded pot. Add about a teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover beans by two inches. Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are just softening, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and set beans aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together molasses, mustard, brown sugar, and pepper, set aside. Heat a kettle of water. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the bacon; cook until bacon is brown and starts to crisp. Add onion, stirring to coat. Add beans and molasses mixture, then enough hot water to cover the beans. Cover pot and bake in oven until beans are tender but not falling apart, about 4 hours.
- Remove from oven, stir, then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Return pot to oven, uncovered, and continue to cook until sauce has thickened, about 30-40 minutes more. Serve warm.
- For the bacon weave, if serving: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay 6 strips of bacon vertically, flush against each other on a rimmed baking sheet. Fold every other strip in half onto itself. Lay one strip of bacon perpendicular to those strips, flush up against the back of the folds. Unfold those flipped strips back over the perpendicular strip of bacon. Continue to weave, folding every other strip in alternating columns. Bacon weave should have the same finished height and width. Bake until brown and crisp, about 15-25 minutes. Drain on paper towels then cut into portions.