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As most of us may have already found, quick-breads are varied in texture and ingredients and flavorings, as opposed to raised breads, which mainly get their complex flavor from fermented yeast. Quick-bread's simplicity allows any baker to focus on the ingredients and season's best fruits and spices.
For the most moist and tender quick-bread and muffin recipes, look for ones with buttermilk and baking soda. Also, low-fat recipes, made with applesauce or other fruit purees, are usually moist and tender. Buttermilk is a tenderizer and the baking soda needs the acid of the buttermilk or applesauce in order to activate. When substituting milk for buttermilk, for every cup, add in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and omit 2 teaspoons baking powder. When substituting oil or melted butter with applesauce, do so 1 for 1 and add back 2 tablespoons oil to enhance the recipe's flavor.
All-purpose flour is usually used, but different types of flours and grains, such as whole wheat, buckwheat and soy can be added in as a percentage, only.
The fats used can be shortening, oil, solid or melted butter.
Eggs are an important ingredient and are sometimes separated with their whites beaten until stiff for waffle recipes. Popovers need the fat of plenty of egg yolks to cook through inside while they puff and brown.
Different liquids, such as water, fruit juice, milk, yogurt, buttermilk are added in.
A variety of sugars, granulated, brown, honey and many other items can be used. Do not substitute a dry sugar with a liquid one unless you adjust the recipe with lots of testing.
Add-ins such as berries, seeds, nuts, shredded vegetables (carrots and zucchini), spices and flavorings, add greatly to their delicious taste and texture.
As with all recipes, quick-bread ingredients should be measured carefully. To measure the flour, first fluff it up in its container, spoon it into a dry measuring cup, and then level it with the edge of a dull knife. Liquid ingredients are poured into a glass measuring cup, first placed on a level countertop, and then read at eye level. Brown sugar is packed into a dry measuring cup, and applesauce and other thick ingredients are measured in it, as well.