By Beverly Barbour
Don't loaf around, quickly bake quick bread
It is hard to turn out a bad loaf of quick bread. Good old baking powder, or baking soda if the recipe has an acid ingredient, makes it almost impossible not to have your loaf rise high and look over the edge of the pan.
Quick breads of any kind don't take much time to throw together and most of them bake in an hour or less. So you can grease a loaf pan or two (might as well make two loaves as quick breads all freeze well), quickly mix the bread and then get on with the rest of the meal.
Some quick breads are sweet and serve as desserts or coffee time treats and some are designed to compliment meats, soups, salads or breakfast. In many cases you can substitute Bisquick for the flour, fat and leavening agent, and just add the flavoring ingredients.
Beer Quick Bread
The flavor of this crusty bread reflects the taste of the beer you use to make it; experiment with different beers if you like the light touch of malt in the flavor. This bread is not sweet. If you have any cooked bacon on hand, you could crumble it and add to the batter.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease and lightly flour a loaf pan. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add beer and mix just until evenly moistened. Spread into loaf pan and make certain that the batter is level. Bake until loaf is well browned and just begins to pull from pan sides, about 45 minutes. Invert onto a rack. Serve warm or cool. When making ahead wrap the cool loaf in foil or plastic and hold at room temperature up to one day; freeze to store. To serve cut in thin slices. It is good with butter and honey or to accompany a meal. Makes 1 loaf.
Poppy Seed Loaf
This cake-like bread is delicious as is and also toasted. It is very nice served with a salad for lunch. If an orange glaze is poured over the loaf while it is still warm it then becomes a coffee-time treat or dessert.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring, optional
Loaf: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan or a bundt pan. With a wire whip in a bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Beat eggs and then beat in the remaining ingredients. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix only 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Makes 1 loaf. Glaze: Use a fork to make holes in top of cake. Combine ingredients and pour over warm cake.
Bread Baked in a Round Can
Adella Andrijeski of Pierce, Colo., said, "Mom always had this in the freezer to serve us when we came home from school. I like it on hand for the holidays and it makes a great gift (already sliced) for a senior living alone."
1 1/4 cup raisins
Pour boiling water over raisins and let soak for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour three #2 cans. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat egg and combine with vegetable oil; stir into dry ingredients. Stir in raisins and nuts. Fill cans slightly more than half full. Bake for 1 hour (less if using smaller cans). Let cool 15 minutes before removing from cans. Taking them from cans shouldn't be a problem but if it is, just cut away the can bottom and push the loaf out. Store in airtight container overnight before serving.
This recipe calls for prunes and dried apricots but you can use any dried fruit that you wish.
Dried cranberries and/or dried cherries would be delicious or use any dried fruits you may have left from making fruitcake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together, or stir them together well with a whip in a bowl. Cream shortening and sugar and beat in egg and orange peel. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, mixing only until blended (do not overmix.). Stir in fruits and nuts. Turn into pan and bake 65 to 75 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.
Doubling a recipe saves both time and money. If you use the oven to cook dinner while it is heated, you save even more.