Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quick Breads

Many of you are probably asking "What are Quick Breads?"  Well, they are breads that are made without yeast.  Instead they use leavening agents such as "Baking Soda" or "Baking Powder" and some even use both.

Quick breads are even an American original.  They date back to at least the mid 1800s when baking soda and baking powder first commercially produced.

Some products that are considered "Quick Breads" include loaf breads like banana, pumpkin and zucchini. They also include muffins, biscuits, pancakes and waffles.

There three common ways to make quick breads.  Combining all the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combining before baking is one way.  This method is used in making muffins, pancakes and corn bread.

Another is to cream the butter (fat) and sugar together and then adding the other ingredients.  The main thing to remember using either method is to not over work the dough.  This is used more for cakes than anything else.

The last method is cutting the fat into the dry ingredients.  This is done by using a food processor, a pastry blender, two forks or even your hands.  Biscuits and scones are the main products that use this method.

Depending on the method and type of quick bread being made, the dough or batter will have a different consistency.  Pancakes and the banana type breads have a more "pouring" batter.  Muffins are more of a "drop" batter.  While chocolate chip cookies are a "soft" dough and sugar cookies use a "stiff" dough. The difference between all 4 is the amount of liquid to the dry ingredients.  The more equal the two are makes for the pouring batter.  Where as the greater the dry is to liquid gives you the stiff dough.

So this week I have two of the more traditional quick breads.  Both recipes are from the early 20th century and have been passed down for several generations.  They come from different people that eventually made it to my mother.  The reason they get passed down or along is because they taste great.  First is "Pumpkin Bread" and it is followed by "Pecan Bread".  Do take the time and try these.  And look for other quick bread recipes to add to your baking desires.

In the meantime, "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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