Quick breads are simple and speedy to prepare with a basic ratio of ingredients and make a great breakfast or dessert. They are also a fantastic way to use up extra fruit, like bananas, berries or apples. Unlike yeast breads, quick breads typically use baking soda or baking powder as leavening agents, eliminating the time for a rise. This means quick bread recipes are perfect if you’re short on time.
Fundamental Quick Bread Ratio
The basic ratio for a quick bread is two parts flour to two parts liquid, to one part egg, to one part butter or oil. For every 5 ounces of flour (which equates to just over a cup of flour), you will need about a teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. So, for example, if you use 10 ounces of all-purpose flour, you’ll add 10 ounces of a liquid like milk, 2 large eggs and 5 ounces of butter, plus two teaspoons of baking powder and about 1/2 teaspoon (or two pinches) of salt.
If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll end up with a bland bread. First, you’ll want to include about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of white or brown sugar or a combination of both, if you’re making a sweet bread. To infuse the batter with flavor, you can add up to 2 cups of mashed or shredded fruits and vegetables. Banana bread -- probably the most common type of quick bread -- can be made with the basic ratio and 2 cups of mashed bananas. You can also stir in equivalent amounts of shredded zucchini, jam, chutneys, applesauce, chopped nectarines or berries.
Quick Bread Additions
Don’t stop with fruit -- you can also add spices, nuts, chocolate and other fun embellishments to your quick bread recipe. Add anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon each of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or ground cloves. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. Alternatively, stir in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, shredded coconut or poppy seeds to take your quick bread to the next level. Other ideas include citrus juice or zest, extracts or a strudel topping.
Quick Bread Method
The dry ingredients are usually whisked together first. Cream or whisk together the butter and sugar, and then add the eggs, fruit and spices. Next, you’ll gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir in any other additions. Quick bread batter can be baked in a buttered loaf pan, a pie pan or even muffin tins and cooled on wire racks. Serve with butter, jam, peanut butter or just enjoy on its own.
- Ratio; Michael Ruhlman
- Barry Farm: Basic Quick Bread Recipe
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images