Quick bread creations
By Angie Sutton
Mmm! Do you love the aroma of bread baking? The warmth of the oven on a cold day and the anticipation of the finished product slathered with butter are about as good as a trip to the day spa.
Quick breads make it possible to enjoy the enticing aroma—and flavor—without the kneading required of traditional yeast bread and the time it takes to rise. They are leavened with something other than yeast, like baking powder or baking soda, if your recipe has an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk. Quick bread is a general term and covers a wide range of end products that are made from dough or batter and typically finished within an hour or so. This makes them an attractive option when time is stretched and you want to offer your family something homemade. Quick breads include biscuits, scones, muffins and loaves and can be sweet or savory.
I like the versatility of the recipes. An herb loaf can be paired with meal while a bread batter with fruit can be baked in cupcake papers and offered as an “out-the-door-in-a-hurry” breakfast for a teenager. Doubling a recipe makes them easy to freeze and when you feel too guilty to throw out those over-ripe bananas, you can stir together banana bread in no time!
I bake bread in glass loaf pans as opposed to metal. I find the bread bakes evenly and has a nice golden color. When using a glass loaf pan, you may wish to lower the temperature of the oven 25 degrees, as the glass provides more thermal mass than metal. It may also take a bit less time than the recipe calls for, depending on your oven. The toothpick is your friend in any case. If the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, your bread is done.
These recipes are a favorite at Sutton Central. They freeze well and are perfect for bake sales or potlucks.
Italian Herb Loaf with Parmesan
This recipe makes a small round loaf to cut into 4 servings. Make two if more servings are desired. It tastes great dipped in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a small bowl, combine flour, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, sugar, onion, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine sour cream, milk and melted butter. Stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Cut an X in the top of the loaf about 1/4-inch deep. Brush top with egg white and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Yogurt Lemon Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. Coat an 8- by 4-inch glass loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter in evenly. Bake at 325 F for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Fruit and Cream Cheese Muffins
Fresh blueberries and red raspberries make a nice combination. If frozen fruit is used, pat with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture and coat lightly with flour before folding in.
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites and egg; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, alternately beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in fruit and walnuts. Place 24 foil cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter into cups filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 F about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack. Drizzle top with powdered sugar icing if desired.
Sour Cream Jam Swirl Loaf
I had wild blackberry jam and cherry preserves and felt both were suitable options for this recipe. Similar recipes call for raspberry jam.
1/3 cup seedless jam, preserves or marmalade
Combine jam and walnuts in a small bowl. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Combine sugar, butter, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, egg and egg white in a mixing bowl. Beat until well blended with a stand mixer. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar mixture and blend well. Begin and end with flour mixture. Coat 8- by 4-inch glass loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon half of the batter into the bottom. Spoon jam mixture over the top leaving about 1/4 inch around edge. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with powdered sugar icing.