Quick breads --
fast (most of them), easy, and delicious
All that's left of a loaf of Irish Soda Bread after a Sunday breakfast get-together!
Quick breads can be sweet or savory. They are quick, easy, and simple to do. They are a good place to start a baking life because many of these breads are quick and easy.
These breads use baking powder or baking soda, and sometimes cream of tartar or just eggs, as the leavening agent. They can be soft and very fluffy to extremely dense. Most of us use double acting baking powder. This is actually made from two different ingredients; one starts acting when you add liquid, and the other ingredient causes the rise when heat is added in the oven, on a griddle, or in a pot for steaming. Some recipes call for baking powder and baking soda. These recipes have an ingredient that is somewhat acidic, like buttermilk, sour cream, and molasses. If you decide to modify a recipe that calls for milk by using buttermilk, be sure to reduce the baking powder by about a half teaspoon and add a half teaspoon of baking soda. With these breads there is no need to set the breads aside for long periods while you wait for them to rise and rise again.
Some of the recipes included in this section will be for banana bread, beer bread, corn bread, biscuits, muffins, scones, steamed brown bread, popovers, and
Irish soda bread
; many are regular features at our Sunday morning breakfast get-togethers.
There are two basic methods for mixing; the muffin method and the biscuit method. But don’t worry much about the technical stuff. Just follow the recipes closely the first few times, and then take off with your own innovations.
The most important thing to remember about quick breads is don't over-mix! Many recipes will tell you to mix just until all ingredients are moistened, or the mixture will be lumpy. These directions are very important for making really good quick breads. I will share some of my own boo-boos when we get to specific recipes.
The Muffin Method involves measuring the dry and wet ingredients separately and they quickly mixing the all together. Remember, don't over-mix them. Use a broad spatula, a large spoon, or even a fork. Don't use a mixer unless a recipe specifically tells you to.
The Biscuit Method, used mostly for biscuits and scones, involves cutting the chilled solid shortening (butter, margarine, lard, Crisco) into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, food processor or fork.
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