Quick breads are classic favorites for many. A few recipes for quick, non-yeast loaves are provided in most general cookbooks, and even most baking books. Using and changing these recipes frequently may give you some creative flair. Here is a simple and delicious way to make quick breads.
Since few of these batters demand kneading or time to rise, most loaves are ready for the oven in just 10 to 15 minutes. Mixing time is short, in part, due to the cardinal rule regarding quick breads is: Do not overmix. Overmixing makes for tough breads. Mix batters using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula fair enough to combine the wet and dry ingredients. The presence of some lumps is ok. Food processors, electric mixers or blenders don’t create good quick breads.
Equipment essentials are as simple as the mixing rule. A couple of bowls, a wooden spoon, measuring cups and spoons and baking containers are all that are necessary. A wire whisk is a convenient time-saver.
Most recipes were really designed to occupy one or two roughly 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. The one used for this is closer to 8 l/2 x 4 l/2 inches but it won’t make any difference. Do not be turned off by pan sizes.
Any type of oven-proof casserole, pan, or bowl will work. Naturally baking times will differ, as they do in different ovens after all, so have a tester handy. As soon as it comes out clean when entered in the center of the loaf, and the bread starts to pull away somewhat from the sides of the pan, the bread is already done.
You can be more adventurous and experiment with casseroles, au gratin dishes and small ramekins. There are some who have baked successfully just using one-cup porcelain ramekins. The small round loaves these containers create are quite an interesting change and just about enough for one hungry person.
You are encouraged to watch diligently the first time and create a note of the real time expected when bread is baked in a certain pan size. Not just for the pan size, but the material of which the pan is made of, greatly affects the baking time. The times you see here are just estimates and are meant to serve only as a guide.
1-cup porcelain ramekin - 15 to 20 minutes
3-cup au gratin dish or pie - 15 to 20 minutes
5 l/2-inch x 3-inch loaf pan - 30 to 40 minutes
1-quart casserole - 40 to 50 minutes
9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan - about 1 hour
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