Two groups of people really irritate me to no end…those who can cook without a recipe and those who can play piano by ear.
As for myself, I obviously can’t do either…and can hardly do either even with a recipe or sheet music.
But there are certain recipes that can be used over and over again…tweaking them to for the occasion…such as this one…
And this is another one of those recipes that contains ingredients that most of us keep on hand all the time….or at least the ingredients to make the base.
The base ingredients of this bread are the foundation for many other types of breads also…apple, banana, cranberry, date, (you get the point)…
In fact, to make the base you can follow a simple basic formula…..
2 parts flour
2 parts liquid
1 part egg
1 part butter or oil
Let’s look at each of the ingredients required tr make a quick bread…
Flour...Flour acts as the foundation of quick bread….building a sturdy structure through the formation of gluten strands after being combined with a liquid….and azding height to your bread.
Baking poweder and baking soda…These both allow you to make your batterready to use in a few minutes….instead of waiting for the yeast to make your bread rise.
Sugar…Sugar obviously sweetens the bread…bit it also absorbs and holds moisture…making your bread more moist.
Salt…Salt adds flavor to the bread and strengthen the gluten structure.
Spices…You can use whichever spices you’d like or none at all.
2. Liquid Ingredients...There are several options here as far as what liquids you use for your quick bread—such as buttermilk, fruit or vegetable pureé, milk, sour cream, and water.
Eggs…Eggs bind the structure together and help make the bread.
Fat…Melted butter and .or oil….This adfds richness and moisture to the bread.
Milk or Buttermilk…1C
3. “Fun” Ingredients’...”Fun” Ingredients’…(more on this later)….”Fun Ingredients” can be anything that you could imagine…such as spices, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or anything else you think might taste good…In fact, try separating your batter into three mini loaf pans and adding different “fun ingredients” each time.
Sugar…1C granulated or brown sugar (or combination of both)
Fat….1/4C butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil
Milk…1C milk or buttermilk
Now that you have learned about the basic ingredients, let’s look at the process.
First preheat your oven to 350….then line a 9×5-inch loaf pan or three 6-by-3-inch mini pans with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides and coat well with cooking spray.
Then mix your dry ingredients together and make a well in the center.
Next combine the liquid ingredients and add them to the dry ingredients.
Add the liquid ingredients to the well that you made in the dry ingredients.
Mix the ingredients together…Mixing the ingredients by hand gives your bvread batter better texture and appearance than using a mixer…but be careful not to over mix your batter so that you bread won’t turn out tough. Your goal in whisking is to to break up any clumps in the flour and aerate the mix for a lighter loaf….so leave the batter lumpy and even with a few streaks of flour still showing.
Now add any “fun” ingredients….As a general rule, you will want to use about 1-3tsp herbs or spices and 1-1/2C of the “big stuff,” and about 3/4C nuts….In order to prevent your “fun ingredients” from all sinking to the lower half of the loaf, you might want to sprinkle them with a couple of teaspoons of flour before adding them to the batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 40min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or until the loaf bounces back slowly when gently pressed.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 10min.
Remove from pan.
Let cool completely before slicing.
For basic chocolate quick bread, you need to add 1/4C each unsweetened cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chips to the original batter
Now for the variations…
Chocolate-Hazelnut…3/4C chopped toasted hazelnuts…glaze with mixture of 1/4C warm Nkutella thinned with 1 tablespoon water