Tips for Success

Fresh Fruit Crumb Skillet Coffee Cake Recipe TutorialThe name "quick-bread" also describes these recipes that are assembled quickly and are baked, fried or cooked immediately. With most, you need not worry about culinary prowess in the kitchen, except for learning a few extra skills and techniques for making doughnuts, crepes and popovers. No need to worry, because we show you how to make each type of quick-bread, with each recipe tutorial. Plus, you can ask questions and get professional answers in our Ask Sarah forum, throughout the process.

Most quick-breads are prepared the same way and mixed using the Muffin or Two-Bowl Mixing Method:

1. Preheat the oven. Lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F to prevent overbaking if using a glass pan or a pan with a dark finish.

2. Grease the pan if specified. Shortening or nonstick cooking spray can be used. Butter and margarine burns, so avoid using it. 

3. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

4. If shortening or butter is used, cut into the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or two knives in an opposing fashion to mix in the fat.

5. Mix the wet AND sugar ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat them with an electric mixer to allow them to properly aerate and become fluffy.

Healthy Oven Baked Whole Wheat Glazed Doughnuts (Donuts) Recipe6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. STIR by hand only until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX or use an electric mixer. The mixture will contain some lumps; they are typical, so leave them. If you try and correct them, the batter will be over mixed batter. This creates tough and rubbery quick- breads.

7. Immediately put batter into pans or muffin cups, without stirring again and bake immediately. Quick-breads are usually baked in the middle of the middle shelf  in a well preheated oven. Don't open oven too often to check, which causes a rapid heat loss and problems with the recipe.

8. Bake your quick bread for a little less than the time prescribed by the recipe, and then check for doneness. DO NOT OVERBAKE. It is done when a WOODEN toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out with a few moist crumbs. A cake tester--a rigid stainless steel wire with a loop handle, should NOT be used because crumbs do not stick to it as readily. Visual clues are also when the recipe is golden brown on top, when it JUST starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and has a slight resistance to finger pressure.

9. When done, immediately remove from oven and place the pan on a wire cake rack to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before unmolding. Quick breads should be taken from their pans and cooled on their sides on a wire cake rack; if they cool in their pans, they sweat and their bottoms become soggy. Serve biscuits and scones right out of the oven. Muffins are good warm or reheated. Use a serrated knife to cut quick bread loaves after cooling.  

10. Quick breads will store well at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic for one week, unless they contain cheese or other easy-spoiling dairy products, where they must be refrigerated. They can be frozen in plastic wrap and then, placed in a resealable plastic bag for generally up to three months depending on what you are making.

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