Use these 10 quick bread tips, and easy bread recipes, to impress your family and friends with homemade gifts from your kitchen!
My very favorite thing to make in the kitchen is something baked, sweet, and easy. I don’t like to spend a lot of time, but I want something that looks like I did. Quick breads are the perfect answer to all those things. Most of the quick bread recipes on my blog are very simple, and call for ingredients you already have in your pantry. Once in a while I’ll challenge myself and make something a little more involved, but not very often! I have been getting a lot of the same questions when I post a bread recipe, so I thought I would address them all at once. I came up with 10 tips for perfect quick breads, so lets get started.
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10 Quick Bread Tips & Bread Recipes
1.) Pans are Important for Bread Recipes.
A few years ago I discovered a line of bakeware available at Williams-Sonoma. It’s called Goldtouch, and these pans really do, in my opinion, make a difference. The first thing I bought were the cookie sheets, and I fell in love after using them one time. Since then I have added several more pieces. I ask for them for Christmas, because they are a bit pricey. The mini loaf pan is my favorite, but I also have the individual mini loaf pans. Every single loaf comes out baked evenly and moist.
I also firmly believe that baking quick breads in smaller pans works better. Many times, with a regular sized loaf pan, it’s difficult to get the bread done in the middle. Smaller loaves make for shorter bake times, and more evenly baked bread.
2.) Prepare your pans well.
Several years ago, I discovered a product called Baker’s Joy. I don’t know how long it’s been around, but it’s what I use to prepare my baking pans. You can find it at the grocery store right next to the Pam. It also works very well to lightly coat your pan with Crisco, and then dust it with flour. However, the Baker’s Joy is easier and saves time.
3.) Oven Placement for Quick Breads: Bake at the top.
I have cooked in only three different ovens in the past 38 years. In all of my ovens, baked items always came out better if I put a rack near the top of the oven. I know all ovens aren’t the same, so try out different placements. The top of the oven is what has worked for me.
4.) Mix the dry ingredients first.
Some recipes tell you to do this and some don’t. I always do it because I think it makes sense, and it’s easier too. I use a clear Pyrex bowl, I measure everything out, and then use a whisk to gently mix the dry ingredients together.
5.) Always add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
The other way around just doesn’t work…ever! What I do is mix all the wet ingredients (butter, eggs, vanilla, sour cream, etc.) along with the sugar in the bowl of my standing mixer. When it’s well mixed, I then add the dry ingredients. Nuts or any other type of addition can be folded in at the end.
6.) Glaze: how to avoid a mess!
Many times, quick bread recipes call for some sort of glaze to be poured over the loaves after baking. I’m not going to lie…I have made such messes trying to do this! The easiest way to avoid a mess is to place a cooling rack on a large piece of foil. Place your loaves on the rack and then pour the glaze over them. Any glaze that runs off will fall on the foil. The only clean up is to toss the foil in the trash!
7.) Baking Soda or Baking Powder in Quick Breads?
Personally, I like to use both. I have found that recipes that call for both usually bake more evenly and are fluffier. When recipes are written, usually the leavening agent is chosen based on the acid present in the ingredients. I don’t really understand the chemical part of it…all I know is that when I use both baking soda and baking powder, I get a better result. Of course, if you are a stickler for following a recipe exactly, you might want to skip over this tip!
Clarification: If a quick bread recipe calls for only 1 teaspoon of baking powder, I throw in a teaspoon of baking soda. And vice versa. If there is already MORE THAN one teaspoon of leavening in the recipe, I don’t add additional. For example, the banana bread recipe above calls for an entire tablespoon of baking powder. That’s plenty of leavening, so there is no need to add any more.
8.) Salted butter or unsalted butter?
This one may be a shocker, but I always use salted butter when I bake. Depending on the recipe, I then cut back on the salt measurement. If a recipe calls for only 1/4 t. salt, I just leave it out completely. It’s a personal choice. I like the taste of salted butter better. If you’ve never baked with salted butter, you should try it. It’s really very good!
9.) Wrap your bread while it’s still warm.
This little tip came from my friend, Connie. The first time I tried it was with my Pumpkin Bread. Oh my gosh. What a difference it made! After I take my loaves out of the pans, I let them cool for a bit on racks. Before they are completely cool, I wrap them in Press’n Seal. If I am freezing any, I put the wrapped loaves in a resealable freezer bag, place them in the freezer, and they are good for months. Of course, if you have a glaze to add, this won’t work. But if not, I highly recommend it.
10.) Dry roast the nuts for Quick Bread Recipes.
This only takes a few minutes and it makes such a difference. If your recipe calls for walnuts, almonds or pecans, sprinkle them on a cookie sheet, and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 – 10 minutes. About halfway through, shake the pan to move them around. If you start to smell them, that means they are done. Roasting the nuts brings out the flavor, and makes them so incredibly tasty that it’s worth the extra effort!
Now that you have these quick bread tips and bread recipes in your arsenal, stop by your kitchen and bake something amazing!
Shop for my favorite Goldtouch pans:
- Individual Mini Loaf Pans
- Mini Loaf Pan Plaque
- 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking pan
- 9 x 13 baking pan
- 1/4 sheet pans
- 1/2 sheet pans
- Bundt pan