Post # 233 The Best of the Rest of the Breads

March 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 233 The Best of the Rest of the Breads

Okay, the final (for now) post about bread.  I’m sure you’re getting bored of it, right?  The final two types of bread I want to talk about are quick breads, and breakfast breads.  Both are breads in the sense that they have wheat flour as the main ingredient and use a dough as a base, but there is no rising or proofing time, and yeast is not the rising agent.  In most cases, the rising agent is chemical based in the form of baking powder or baking soda.

quick bread 2

Quick breads fall into two categories.  The first is the most familiar, the fruit or vegetable breads.  How many have had banana bread?  How about zucchini bread?  How about pumpkin bread, or citrus bread or walnut bread, or spice bread?  Corn bread?  Ever heard of it? These are all examples of quick breads that use the same basic recipe with modifications to make it a specific kind of bread.  The leavening is usually a one of two things.  Baking powder is a dual action.  As soon as it gets wet, it starts the rising action, then stops.  Later, when it gets heated,  it rises again give the bread extra oomph.  Baking soda gives quick bread it’s rise by combining it with an acid.  When the soda and acid meet, they form bubbles.  Who hasn’t seen the reaction of vinegar and baking soda?

baking soda

You mix a small amount of baking soda with the dry ingredients, then add an acid with the wet ingredients.  Usually it’s a small amount of vinegar, lemon juice, but most typical is buttermilk.  Buttermilk not only adds flavor, but gives the acid necessary to react.

One type of quick bread we all know and love is just a different method of baking.  Muffins!  Who doesn’t love a chocolate chip, or a blueberry muffin?  I used to make a cranberry spice muffin that was real good.  The only difference between a loaf of quick bread and a muffin is what you bake them in.

quick bread 1

Not all quick breads are sweet, although they tend to be so.  Corn bread can be sweet or savory.  I’ve made corn bread with cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers in it.  Another quick bread that is not a sugar based bread.  Irish Soda bread is a standard at my house, and across the ocean in Ireland.

quick bread 5

Soda bread can be made with plain AP flour, or can be dressed up to add flavors and depth.  Honey Oat Soda bread is a very popular variety all over the world.

quick bread 3

Breakfast breads tend to run on the sweet side, or if not, made sweet with the addition of jams, jellies, honey, or syrup.

breakfast bread 1

Muffins, donuts (mmm donuts!), bagels, danishes are good examples of breakfast breads.  Nearly all of these are the yeast variety, and nearly all use the standard flour dough.  But the variations in the dough process make these so different and so delicious.  Danishes, for instance, are flaky due to the rolling out, kneading, rerolling process.   Jams, preserves, or sweetened cheese are used to fill the pastry.  Bagels are boiled in water laden with baking soda before they’re baked to give them the soft but chewy crust they’re known for.  I came to bagels pretty late in life, on an airplane.  Loved ’em ever since.

breakfast bread 5

Of course, my personal favorite:

breakfast bread 4

But another type of breakfast bread is made from a batter rather than a dough.

breakfast bread 2

and

breakfast bread 3

Partner/Spouse loves these.  I’m not a big fan, although I’ll eat them occasionally.  They’re made from the same batter, although the waffles use a lighter consistency batter than the pancakes.  And they are both just as versatile as any bread.  I’ve made some very dense pancakes, spread them with mashed banana, rolled them up, and taken them to work for a quick breakfast at my desk.  I added oatmeal to the batter to give them some depth.

I’m going to leave you with an easy and pretty good banana nut chip bread recipe.  Hope you liked this series of posts.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mixed nuts and seeds (nuts should be broken down)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and bananas and mix well.  Add all other ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pour into a prepare loaf pan.  Bake one hour to one hour and ten minutes.  Cool and eat.

Wonderful stuff.

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