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Quick Breads

Quick Bread at CHEFS Mix
February 21, 2013

Saturday is National Banana Nut Bread Day. I love banana nut bread. It is one of my favorite quick breads to keep on hand. It is great on its own with a bit of butter, dipped in egg wash for French Toast, crumbled and baked in a custard to make banana nut bread pudding.

I am always buying bananas, some for me to eat and some to let get overripe. Last time I made banana bread, something went wrong. It was dry and tough; definitely not the best banana bread I have ever made. So I started doing some research into what went wrong and what not to do the next time. Turns out, I probably over mixed the batter and had used a pan that was too big.

I discovered some great tips as I was doing my research. As a result, I have compiled a list of the best hints and tips for making better quick breads to share with you.

Ingredients | CHEFS Mix

Ingredients

  • Measure the baking powder and baking soda accurately. Too much leavening ingredients can make the bread dry and crumbly or leave a bitter aftertaste. Too much baking powder or soda can cause the batter to over rise, which will cause the bread to fall and appear sunken. Too little leavening will result in a bread texture that is dense or gummy.
  • Check the freshness of your baking powder and soda before adding into the dry ingredients. Place 1 teaspoon of baking powder in 1/3 cup hot water or 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 2 teaspoons of vinegar, if the solutions bubble, then they are good to use in your quick bread.

High Altitude Adjustments

  • Reduce the baking soda 1/8 teaspoon to help create a better rise.
  • Reduce the sugar by 1 or 2 tablespoons to help prevent the bread from falling
  • Increase the flour by 2 to 4 tablespoons to help add structure and prevent the bread from falling.

    Mixing | CHEFS Mix

  • Increase the liquid by up to 1/4-cup to help keep the quick bread moist
  • Increase the baking temperature 15 F (for altitudes up to 6,000 feet) or add extra baking time (over 6,000 feet).

Mixing

  • The secret to tender moist quick breads is in the mixing. It is best to mix by hand and not by a stand or hand mixer. A stand mixer will whip too much air into the batter, potentially drying out a quick bread.
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients separately first before combining them together. Sift together the dry ingredients in one bowl. Beat together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Then fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until ingredients are moistened. Add any extras—chocolate chips, nuts, or fruits, and stir until just combined.
  • Avoid over mixing—small lumps in the batter will be fine. Over mixing can cause the quick bread to be tough because of the gluten that will form when mixing. Over mixing will also cause large bubbles or “tunneling” in the finished bread.

    dried fruits | CHEFS Mix

Adding Fruit and Nuts to Quick Breads

  • If using dried fruit, soak them in just enough boiling water to cover the fruit in a small bowl. Let them stand about 15 minutes, drain and add to batter. For extra flavor, use juice or liquors and allow the fruit to soak overnight.
  • For nut breads, check the bread 15 to 20 minutes before the time called for in the recipe. If the loaf is browning too quickly, tent with foil.
  • To keep nuts and fruits from sinking in a quick bread, dust them with a tablespoon of flour before adding to flour. (shake off and dispose of any excess flour).

Baking

  • Fill the baking pan only 2/3 of the way full to allow for rising during baking.
  • If using a glass or dark metal pan, reduce the baking temperature 25 F.

    Baking Tips | CHEFS Mix

  • Always grease the baking pan before adding batter. Shortening is the best fat because of its higher melting point. Cooking sprays will also work. To prevent an rim around the edge of the loaf, grease the pan only 1/2 way up the side of the pan.
  • Allow the bread to cool 15 to 20 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack. This will help prevent the bread from sticking in the pan or overcooking from residual pan heat.
  • If using a different size pan than a recipe calls for, adjust the baking time and check on the bread often.
  • For best results, bake breads on a rack placed in the center of the oven.
  • Check the bread 10 to 15 minutes before baking time is complete. Tent with foil if it appears to be browning too quickly.

Serving

  • To keep a quick bread from crumbling when sliced, make sure that the bread has cooled completely. Cut using a sawing motion without pressing down.
  • The cracks that form in the top of a quick bread are normal, and are caused by

    Storing Quickbreads

    the quick leavening that occurs when baking. Drizzle with an icing to cover, if they seem unsightly to you.

Storage

  • Allow breads to cool completely before storing and keep in the refrigerator, for short-term storage, to prevent spoiling.
  • If storing at room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil to help preserve moisture.
  • To freeze, wrap in foil and then place in a heavy-duty resealable freezer bag. To thaw a frozen quick bread, remove from plastic wrap and loosen foil. Allow to thaw at room temperature 2 to 3 hours.

Looking for a few versions of banana bread to celebrate National Banana Nut Bread Day, try these recipes from CHEFS. For these and more quick bread recipes, visit CHEFS Recipe section.

Whole Wheat Banana BreadWhole-Wheat Banana Bread | CHEFS Mix

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Ingredients

6 roasted ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans

Directions

Note: There is no extra sugar added to this recipe. The sweetness of the bread comes from the roasted bananas and chocolate chips. If extra sweetness is desired add 1/2 cup honey or brown sugar.

Preheat oven to 400F. Place bananas, with skin on, on a baking sheet. Place in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes until skin turns solid black. Remove from oven and cool until easy to handle. Peel bananas and remove flesh. Mash and set aside.

Lower temperature of oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine bananas, egg, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir to combine. Combine flours, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake on center rack 60 to 70 minutes, until knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Classic Banana Nut BreadClassic Banana Bread | CHEFS Mix

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Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mashed overripe bananas
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and eggs, until smooth. Add bananas and eggs, and mix until smooth. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between prepared loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans on a wire rack.

Banana Zucchini BreadBanana Zuchini Bread | CHEFS Mix

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Ingredients

2 cups mashed ripe bananas, about 4 bananas
1 large egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, egg, oil, sugar and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Stir in zucchini and walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Double Chocolate Banana BreadDouble Chocoalte Banana Bread

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Ingredients

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups ripe bananas, mashed, about 4 bananas
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and flour 9x 5-inch loaf pan.

Note: To help preserve any banana chunks in mashed bananas, it is best to mix by hand. However, if keeping the chunky bananas isn't important, use a stand mixer, but mix only until just combined. Avoid over mixing the batter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together butter and eggs. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla and salt. In a large bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven on center rack for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place loaf pans on a wire rack to cool.

5 Comments

  • Betsy Lieginger

    Happy Banana Nut Bread Saturday ... thanks for the research and sharing. I will print and keep in my recipe file as it's my favorite thing to make for family, friends and new neighbors. Also, the best afternoon snack ... with melted Guittard shocolate chips on top:)

  • Omaof18greats

    These are great tips and recipes, thank you so much. In my mind anyday is banana bread day. Love it's good taste and aroma.

  • marty m

    When I was small (c: 1950s-60s) a local bakery (Heinemanns) in Milwaukee sold a banana roll that was to die for. They closed shop and took the recipe with them. It was a jello-toll style (perhaps 3 spirals)- but a small nsut banana bread with a white whipped cream with banana slices mixed in - that lined the rolled spiral. Ouside was a thick, cake-like - chocolate frosting with a "squiggled" finsish. I still dream of that and wonder if somewhere - somehow - some bakery has it or someone has a recipe for it. As much as I love and was raised on banans - that was far and away the best think I ever ate and always will be. I may try someday to modify one of these bread recipes here to create something similar. Marty Moore Sr

  • b,flowers

    seems I can't find a stuffed zucchini recipe, please send me one if its available. thanks

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