Fill a 4-gallon stockpot fitted with a strainer insert two-thirds full with water. Add the crab boil, onions, and garlic. Season the water with the salt and black pepper. Add the sweet corn and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the hot dogs and sausage, and cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Add the clams, cover, and cook until the shells pop open, about 5 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
Remove the strainer insert from the pot and drain the boil. Serve the clam boil on paper bags or newspapers. Pass the melted butter and bread.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings