How to Make Homemade Quick Breads

Cranberry Muffin Muffins, loaf bread, biscuits, cornbread, waffles and pancakes are all examples of quick breads.  Are you hungry yet?

Quick breads get their name because of the short amount of time it takes to put them together.  A chemical leavener, like baking powder or baking soda,  is usually called for in quick bread recipes.  Unlike yeast, these chemical leaveners have an immediate effect on the bread and helps it to rise quickly.

Quick breads are mixed and put directly in the oven, so there is no waiting for the  bread to rise which is great for those of us who like a more instant gratification.

Quick breads are best served fresh from the oven, but if you need to get a quick bread fix and don't have time to bake to scratch as often as you like, put a few cooled breads in the freezer and just pop one in ht microwave whenever you need a quick bread fix.  Here are a few more tips for making successful quick breads:

A Checklist for making successful Quick Breads

  • Read the recipe carefully.  Many recipes go awry just because they weren't read through thoroughly.  Make sure you have a the necessary ingredients as well as the correct size baking pans before you get started.
  • Assemble all the ingredients and utensils.  Sometimes I start a recipe thinking I have a particular ingredient, but once I start digging through the cupboards, it's nowhere to be found.
  • Select the right size pan for the job.  If your recipe calls for an 8 inch pan and all you have is a 9 inch pan, know that the recipe will take less time to cook and the final product will be a bit flatter.
  • Use standard measuring cups and spoons.  Don't reach for a teaspoon that you would use for stirring tea, use a proper set of measuring spoons.  There is a difference between liquid measuring cups and dry measuring cups.  Liquid measures normally have a pouring spout, and dry measuring cups can be leveled off with a straight edge knife.
  • Preheat your oven.  15-20 minutes of preheating time is usually good enough, but this will depend on your particular oven.  If you are having problems with overbaking or underbaking, it's a good idea to buy an oven thermometer that hangs in your oven so you can make sure your dial is accurate.
  • Position your oven racks so that the product you are baking is as close to the center of the oven as possible.  If you are baking two or more things at a time, rotate them halfway through for even baking.  Just make sure the pans don't touch each other.
  • Prepare your pan as directed.  If the recipe calls for it, grease your pan with panspray, shortening, butter, or even coconut oil.  If you are using silicone bakeware, you can skip this step as they don't require any additional oil in order for the product to be released from the pan.
  • Sift of whisk flour with other dry ingredients before continuing with the recipe.  This will break up any lumps and incorporate leaveners evenly throughout the batter.
  • Cream shortening(or fat) by beating with a spoon or an electric mixer until it is softened   Add sugar in small amounts until all the graininess has disappeared.  The mixture should be light and airy.
  • Beat whole eggs until thick and pale yellow when a recipe calls for well beaten eggs.  You will see this instruction in sponge cake recipes.

The main thing to remember when making quick breads is that they are at their best fresh from the oven.  Some quick breads baked in loaf pans slice easily after they have cooled off a little.  If you have any questions on making quick breads, feel free to ask them on my Facebook page.