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Volume II
September 30, 2005

Quick Breads
by Amy Hunt

No time to bake bread? Try quick breads instead. Quick breads are breads that do not require yeast. They are leavened by baking soda and/or baking powder, which allow them to rise in minutes instead of hours. When you think of quick breads it is generally the sweet ones like muffins and cakes that come to mind. But there is also the savory side that includes corn bread, biscuits, and even things like Irish Soda Bread (all of which go great with a hot bowl of soup).

Quick Cheese Pepper Bread

This bread recipe is best when served warm from the oven. The tender texture and savory flavor is fabulous with butter melting into the bread.

2 cups flour
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease bottom of 9x5" loaf pan. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix together buttermilk, butter and eggs in a small bowl and beat well. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. 2 loaves of bread

Easy Cornbread

This simple recipe for delicious cornbread is easy enough for beginning cooks to make. Serve it with some hot chili to warm everybody up on a cold winter's day.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. solid shortening
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2" baking pan with solid shortening (Crisco) and set aside. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until particles are fine.

In a medium bowl beat the buttermilk and eggs together until mixture is blended. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended and you can't see the flour or cornmeal. This doesn't take long; don't over-beat the batter. There will still be some lumps.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot with lots of butter and maple syrup!

Irish Soda Bread

Here's a really good Irish Soda Bread recipe that is quick and easy too. The sour cream and buttermilk make the bread very tender and moist.

1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups raisins
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" round cake pan with solid shortening and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour (reserving 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and caraway seeds.

In a small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk and sour cream and beat until smooth. Stir the liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Knead dough in bowl about 10 to 12 times. The dough will be sticky.

Place the dough in the prepared pan and pat down. Cut a 4x3/4" deep slash in the top of the bread and dust with reserved flour. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 65 to 75 minutes; remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.

There are a few secrets to making perfect, tender, moist quick breads. Linda Larsen from put together the following tips on 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 over-mix. 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.

         * DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

Soup and Bread
Homemade Bread—Easy as Pie!
Soup Hints and Tips
A message from our commander and chief
HomeCook'n Cover Page

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