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What Are the Different Types of Quick Breads?

By Christian Petersen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Quick breads use leavening agents other than yeast to provide texture to the finished product. They are called "quick" because they do not require the traditional rising and kneading procedures of yeast breads. Leavening is achieved through the action of one or more additives that create airiness and light texture to baked goods. Baking soda paired with an acidic ingredient of some type, baking powder, eggs, or even steam can serve this purpose. Many quick breads incorporate fruit or vegetable ingredients like bananas or zucchini to give the bread a moist quality.

Breads of this type fall into three main categories which are primarily a function of how they are made. Muffin-type recipes are made by mixing all liquid ingredients together and all dry ingredients together and then combining the two mixtures. Cake-type recipes are made by whipping together fats, eggs, and sugars until the mixture is somewhat light and fluffy, a process known as creaming. The other ingredients are then added to this mixture. Biscuit-type recipes are made by mixing chilled fats with dry ingredients and then adding liquids.

Of course, these are very broad categories. While most quick breads share certain common ingredients, including fats, leavening agents, flour, eggs, and a liquid, there are thousands of different recipes and variations of these types of baked goods. Muffins and cakes invariably incorporate sugars, and many recipes call for other ingredients that influence flavor or texture in some way.

Almost any type of baked item with a bread- or cake-like texture is classified as a quick bread. Muffins, cakes, banana and zucchini bread, and even brownies are quick breads. Technically, pancakes, biscuits, and waffles are also. Some quick breads are more like traditional yeast breads, such as Irish soda bread, corn bread, or beer bread. Many cookies and other sweet baked goods might be called quick breads as well.

Sometimes, unleavened breads like flatbreads, communion wafers, or tortillas are mistaken for quick breads. They are not, however, as they do not contain any kind of leavening agent. The only true requirement for classification as a quick bread is the lack of added yeast and the absence of kneading. This means that other specialized baked goods, like popovers and cream puffs, are also quick breads.

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Discussion Comments
By Ocelot60 — On Jul 01, 2014

@spotiche5- Pumpkin bread sounds like a great variation for this quick recipe, and I'm pretty sure it would work just fine in place of the bananas. The total amount of the bananas depends on how large they are, but I have found that when they are mashed, they equal one to one and a half cups.

By Spotiche5 — On Jun 30, 2014

@ocelot60- Thank you for this easy, quick recipe! I'm betting you can probably substitute the bananas with about a cup or so of pumpkin to make a fast pumpkin bread instead. Do you know how many cups the bananas in this recipe equals?

By Ocelot60 — On Jun 29, 2014

I have a quick recipe for banana bread that only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. All you need is three large mashed bananas, a third of a cup of melted butter, one cup of sugar, one beaten egg, one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and one and half cups of flour.

Simply mix all of these ingredients together, and pour them into a greased loaf pan. Bake the mixture in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Poke a toothpick or butter knife in the center of the loaf to see if it comes out clean to make sure your banana bread is done. This is all it takes for moist, tasty, homemade banana bread in very little time.

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