No, it’s not just a catchy title, quick breads are popular for a reason: as the name suggests, they’re baking made easy, and very quick. You don’t have to be baking mad to be a fan of these breads; some of the most simple baking recipes are for quick breads. For that reason they make a perfect choice for someone who’s new to home baking, as they tend to be pretty foolproof.
Leavening – While there are some yeast leavened cakes,they are not that common so I will stick with baking powder and baking soda. Too much can cause your cake to fall or crumble or fall apart so follow the recipe carefully. If you omit one egg in a recipe increase the amount of baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon. If using baking soda you should use an acid such as buttermilk or cream using 1/2 baking soda for each cup.
Soak your hands for 25 minutes in the solution. It’s important that the water is warm or hot so your pores really open up. You want the baking soda to penetrate your skin. During that time, intermittenly grab the clumps of baking soda at the bottom of the pan or bowl and rub your hands together to really saturate them in the solution.
Just as we need precision in our measurements of ingredients, we also need to be precise in regulating the temperature of our doughs. Temperature is a very important factor in bread baking. In fact, it is probably the most important factor behind scaling your ingredients accurately. The pace at which a dough moves from step to step through a recipe is completely dependent on what the dough temperature is.
Imagine you have a recipe that says “Let the dough rise for one hour”. Well it could take an hour or it could take three hours! We don’t know unless we know our dough is at the temperature the recipe calls for.
If you’re a beginning baker then I’m sure most bread recipes you’ve been exposed to have been in volume measurements i.e. 2 cups flour, 1 cup water etc. There is a problem with measuring ingredients in this manner however: the amount of an ingredient in one cup is almost never the same from cup to cup! In bread baking, especially when starting out, exactness is extremely important. Bread baking is hard enough to do consistently when all your ingredients are accurately measured. With volume measurements you could be executing what is essentially a totally different recipe every time you make it! Why put yourself in a hole before you even get started?
Pick the right pan: non-stick is a good choice, as quick breads tend to be sticky. If you don’t have non-stick, be sure to grease or butter your pan well.