Mom’s pies and layer cakes covered in frosting surely have a place in our hearts. But who could forget those “quick breads” that just seemed to appear on the countertop?
Quick breads, unlike yeast breads, rely upon baking powder, baking soda or eggs for leavening. That’s why they’re “quick” to prepare – there’s no kneading, shaping or rising required. Sweet loaf breads (such as banana bread, zucchini bread, pumpkin bread), scones and biscuits are examples of quick breads. The recipes tend to perform reliably, making them great for less-experienced bakers. And because they’re quick, they’re a handy solution for last-minute requests or invitations. Here are a few things you should know. Quick Bread Tips
- Make sure your baking powder or baking soda have not expired. Check the “Best Buy” date stamped on the container. (Otherwise, your quick bread may not be so quick.)
- Stir the batter gently and just until the ingredients are combined with the liquids. Over-mixing the batter will result in less tender breads, and may create undesirable results (like muffins forming “peaks” while baking).
- Put the bread in the oven as soon as the batter is mixed. Baking powder and baking soda begin their action as soon as the come in contact with the wet ingredients. (This is why you shouldn’t have skipped chemistry lab in school.)
- Be sure to preheat the oven to the temperature indicated in the recipe and place the pan of batter on the middle rack. The bread will not rise properly if the oven is not preheated, or if the bread doesn’t have adequate air circulation all around the pan.
Quick breads are favorites because of their tender, moist textures and sweet, comforting flavor. So, try your hand at making quick bread – you’ll see how fun it can be. And your family and friends will keep asking for more.