Quick breads are the easiest foods to bake. In home ec classes (do they still have those in school?) muffins are usually the very first food students learn how to make. These quick bread recipes actually get better a day or two after they are made, so they are ideal to make on the weekend and then eat for breakfast, snacks, or a dessert alternative during the busy work week. Fruits, nuts, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and even vegetables are delicious additions to quick breads and add fiber and nutrition too!
There are a few secrets to making perfect, tender, moist quick breads.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl and all of the wet ingredients in another. Then quickly pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix about 20-30 strokes.
- Don't overmix. The wet and dry ingredients should be mixed just until the dry ingredients disappear. If you mix beyond that point, the gluten in the flour will develop and the bread will be tough. The batter should be lumpy.
- Bake the breads as soon as the batter is mixed, unless the recipe specifies otherwise. Baking powder and baking soda leaven by producing carbon dioxide when mixed with water. If the batter sits around without being baked, the breads won't rise as high.
- There will be cracks in the top of quick breads, because there is less gluten development in the bread structure.
- Glazes and frostings are great additions to quick breads. Pour glazes on when the breads just come out of the oven and the breads will be even moister.
- Store quick breads tightly wrapped at room temperature. They do taste even better after a few days.
Quick Bread and Muffin Recipes
- Quick Coffeecake
This is one of the first recipes I remember baking. One day I was out of nuts, which the original recipe called for, so I substituted oats instead. The coffee cake was so good I have made it with oatmeal ever since.
- Banana Bread
I searched for years for the best banana bread recipe, and this is the winner. This tender bread has a wonderful even texture and gets even better after a day or two - if there's any left!
- Fresh Apple Bread
Peeling and chopping apples are one of my least favorite kitchen chores - unless it's for this bread. The aroma that fills your house when it's baking is irresistible.
- Cherry Oat Muffins
Back when oat fiber and oat bran were considered the magic food to help prevent disease, I came up with this recipe. It's a great use of fresh cherries, and just plain delicious!
- Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry muffins are the classic muffin. This recipe is tender and delicious without being too sweet.
- Cranberry Oatmeal Bread
This fabulous bread has so much color, flavor, and texture; it's one of my favorites!
- Pineapple Walnut Quick Bread
Canned pineapple and walnuts add flavor and texture to this wonderful bread that has the texture of pound cake.
- Improved Pear Bread
Science helped make Lemon Almond Pear Bread even better! The bit of baking soda added to the batter balances the acidic ingredients and the bread rises more, has a more even texture, and tastes better too.
- Applesauce Muffins
Applesauce adds flavor and moistness to this easy muffin recipe. I love the demerara sugar topping.
- Quick Granola Bread
Start with a quick bread mix and add raisins, coconut and sour cream for a wonderful easy snack.
- Rhubarb Bread
Celebrate spring with rhubarb bread! I love the winey pink color of this bread - it's tart, tender, and spicy with just a hint of sweetness.
- Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
This delicious coffee cake is one of my favorites. The batter is almost like a pound cake, and the delicious brown sugar and chocolate chip streusel mixture melts in your mouth. Serve it as dessert for a spring brunch!
- Irish Soda Bread
Diane wrote me and said this bread was really excellent - she used nutmeg instead of caraway seeds and used the leftovers to make bread pudding. What a great idea!
- Quick Cheese Pepper Bread
Who says quick breads have to be sweet? If you prefer bacon and eggs to cereal for breakfast, try this easy savory bread this week.
- Make Ahead Bran Muffins
This recipe is the exception to the 'bake as soon as mixed' quick bread rule. These moist and tender muffins are stuffed full of plump raisins and are delicious with just a bit of butter melting on top.