Quick Breads for Christmas Morning
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
I love quick breads on Christmas morning. They can be prepared earlier in the week and all that is needed is to set up the beverage bar with coffees, hot chocolate, wassail, and assorted juices. Imagine watching gifts being opened while enjoying a slice of quick bread, such as Aloha Bread, Banana Nut or Lemon Bread, assorted muffins, and an assortment of fresh fruit, warm beverages and juice? That is my idea of a relaxing morning. I get to enjoy the morning with everyone and still have breakfast for my family.
Why do I love quick breads for Christmas morning? They are made ahead of time, easy to put together and easy to clean up afterwards. Many quick bread recipes call for buttermilk, vinegar, sour cream, yogurt, cream of tartar, fruit juices or molasses. These are acidic and are needed to work with the baking powder or soda that is in the recipe.
When the recipe calls for a beaten egg added one at a time, this is to help the bread rise to full volume. Don’t skip this step and combine all at once or you may not get the volume you want.
Before making your quick bread for Christmas morning, start by organizing all of the ingredients before starting. Re-read the recipe so you won’t miss a step. Line up all the ingredients and tools ahead of time. This saves steps, and keeps drawer and cupboard handles free from grease or dough as you reach for those last minute ingredients.
No need to sift the flour. Instead, stir it gently and spoon it into the measuring cup and level. Scooping or dipping the flour may cause air pockets or packing. Most quick bread recipes will call for all-purpose flour. If you have none, use self-rising, but eliminate the leavening and salt.
Because quick breads contain no yeast, you do not have to knead the dough or wait for it to rise. They will not be as dense as yeast bread and will have a cake like texture.
To test for doneness on quick breads, use a cake tester or toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Check also to see if the bread has pulled away from the sides of the pan. If so, it is done. It is best to leave the bread in the pan for 10 - 15 minutes – no more – before removal. This allows the bread to remove from the pan easily, yet not fall apart.
Now that your bread is baked, you may want to freeze any that you aren’t giving as gifts or don’t think you will use quickly. Allow the bread to cool completely. When cooled, wrap bread with plastic wrap and then in foil. This will keep the bread as airtight as possible. Place into individual freezer bags and label with bread name and date baked. As a rule, frozen quick breads maintain their quality for up to three months.
Most frozen quick breads are at their best when thawed, heated and served warm. To heat frozen bread, remove from freezer, remove all the wrapping and let sit just until thawed. Rewrap in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. Serve immediately with warm butter or margarine.
For more information, contact me at the University of Arkansas Division of AG, Cooperative Extension Service, in Miller County at 870 779-3609, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, and twitter at @MillerCountyFCS for additional recipes and tips.
Aloha Quick Bread is a favorite recipe of mine. It has coconut, pineapple, orange peel and nuts, which gives a new twist to traditional banana bread.
Aloha Quick Bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, milk, orange peel and extracts. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the coconut, nuts and pineapple. Transfer to a greased 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10- 15 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.
Yield: 1 loaf
By Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
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