Quick Bread Hints and Tips
As the name implies, quick breads can be made quickly and easily. Because the leavening agent is either baking powder, baking soda, or steam, there is no rising time required. A baked quick bread will generally have a gently rounded top that is slightly bumpy. Don't worry about a crack on top of the quick bread loaves; it's normal.
IMPORTANT: When working with baking powder or baking soda, do not beat the batter; stir only enough to just moisten the dry ingredients. There may still be lumps remaining in the dough, but this is okay. the more you mix a quick-bread batter, the more you develop the flour's gluten, and the tougher the resulting bread.
Don't increase the quantity of baking powder called for in a particular recipe, for too much leaves a distinctive and unpleasant taste.
Don't substitute self-rising or cake flour for all-purpose flour, unless you are confident of being able to calculate exactly how much to reduce the quantity of baking powder or baking soda to compensate.
Bake all quick breads as soon as the ingredients are assembled. since high temperatures are often called for, it is best to bake them in the center of the oven, as the heat in the top third of the oven will be too intense. If you oven tends to overheat, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.
Because glass bake ware retains heat better than metal bake ware, reduce the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees when using glass pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The internal temperature of the bread should be at 200 degrees F.
If you find that your bread is beginning to brown too fast, cover it with a tent of aluminum foil.
Cool quick breads in the loaf pan for 10 minutes; then remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Nearly all quick breads freeze well, but if kept for over a month they tend to become dry. After thawing frozen breads, reheat them in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes before serving.
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