Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans

2 pounds white or pinto beans
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
⅔ cup molasses (blackstrap or robust flavored)
½ cup brown sugar (may use sucanat or date sugar)
3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos or vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 large onions, sliced or left whole
2 bay leaves

1. Soak the beans overnight, or use the quick soak method (bring the beans to a boil in a pot of water, boil 2 minutes, cover and remove from heat for 1 hour. Drain.)
2. Place the soaked beans in a large saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until nearly tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your beans. (If your beans are still rock hard after an hour, discard them – they are probably too old and may never soften, or will do so at the expense of your patience.)
4. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water.
5. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
6. In a large bowl, combine the mustard, molasses, brown sugar, garlic, paprika, lemon juice, Bragg’s or Worcestershire sauce, olive oil and salt.
7. Put a third of the cooked beans in a large covered bean pot or dutch oven, and cover with half the onions.
8. Repeat, then top with the final third of the beans.
9. Tuck the bay leaves into the pot.
10. Pour on the sauce, then add bean cooking liquid to cover generously (about 6 cups; if you don’t have enough bean cooking liquid, add water.)
11. Cover and bake for 4 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the beans aren’t getting extremely dried out – add hot water if they are.
12. After 4 hours, taste and add additional salt if you feel it’s needed, and bake uncovered for an additional 45 minutes to one hour, until sauce is thickened and beans develop a bit of a crust on top. (Note that beans will thicken significantly as they cool.)
13. Remove bay leaves and serve, or serve later at room temperature or cold right from the refrigerator.