Simplify Your Baking: Quick Bread Basics for Beginners | Lifestyles

Making bread at home intimidates many home bakers who don’t have much experience making yeast bread.

Several steps are involved and there is no guarantee of an edible end result. Plus, making bread takes a lot of time. This is likely part of the reason why the global bakery market is expected to reach $9.62 billion by 2030, according to 360iResearch.

It’s convenient for shoppers with busy schedules to grab a loaf of bread or other pre-packaged baked goods. They are available in all grocery stores, reasonably inexpensive, and the quality is consistent.

However, home cooks who like to know what’s in their food may still want to try their hand at creating their own baked goods. Quick bread is a great solution to this dilemma.

What is quick bread?

Quick bread is a type of bread that does not use yeast or another biological agent for leavening. These products include pancakes, waffles, zucchini bread, banana bread, American biscuits, Southern cornbread and much more. This category also includes flatbreads like naan or tortillas.

According to the Wheat Foods Council, quick breads became more popular in the mid-19th century, when baking soda and baking powder came on the market. After the Civil War began, home cooks needed bread recipes that did not require several hours to let yeast doughs rise. The result was what we now call quick bread.

American biscuits are one of the earliest types of quick breads, although they were not made quickly before the Civil War. Since yeast was hard to find and expensive, bakers kneaded the dough to incorporate enough air so that it would rise when baked. Baking powder makes the process much easier.

Why quick bread?

Quick breads don’t need to rise and the dough doesn’t always need to be kneaded. Quick bread recipes are generally easy. Since they don’t require specialized techniques, they are ideal for beginners, including children. Most quick bread recipes involve “dump and stir.”

Making quick bread is a good way to learn several basic baking techniques, including measuring and sifting flour correctly. The loaves don’t need to be shaped either. The cook simply pours the batter into a greased baking dish.

Quick breads give consistent results. If the person follows the recipe, the results should be good. It’s hard to waste quick bread. Another reason why these are great starter recipes.

Quick breads are also versatile. The recipes are indulgent; cooks can add different ingredients based on their family’s preferences. For example, if no one likes nuts, the cook can add pecans to banana bread or omit the nuts altogether. They can also add chocolate chips or even dried blueberries or cranberries for a different take on bread.

Anna Chesley, of Salt in My Coffee, says: “I make a lot of quick breads and our favorites vary depending on the season. In spring, we love rhubarb quick bread, topped with a maple streusel crumble. During the summer months we eat a lot of zucchini bread, and by late fall we are so ready for cranberry orange bread, our favorite during the cold months.

Those who have a bountiful harvest of zucchini in their garden often make zucchini bread in the summer. They can also try pumpkin bread if they have a pumpkin in the garden. It’s a good way to use excess vegetables so as not to waste them.

Healthier choices

If people are concerned about gluten in their diet, eat a plant-based menu, or have other dietary concerns, quick breads are a viable option. You may think that quick breads are sweet and high in carbs, but that’s not always true. The best part about making quick bread is that the cook controls the ingredients. There are low-sugar recipes and low-carb options that incorporate almond flour or another low-carb flour to reduce the carb count.

“We make oil-free, whole plant-based banana bread with dairy-free chocolate chips,” says Jacqueline Sanchez of My Plant Based Plan. “It’s a great breakfast with fruit and coffee or an afternoon snack after school for kids.”

Quick breads aren’t necessarily breads either. Flatbreads are quick and a popular alternative to standard white sandwich bread.

“My favorite is Socca, a chickpea flatbread,” said Tiffany McCauley of The Gracious Pantry. “It’s super quick and easy to make and completely gluten-free. It’s delicious and even works as a pizza crust. I use it this way often and love it.

For those who don’t have time to work with yeast bread, making quick bread is a good way to have savory or sweet pastries that can be served at any meal.

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