With no rising of yeast or shaping of dough to slow you down, you can have a quick bread batter in the oven in just minutes. Yet, the best thing about quick breads isn’t that they’re quick – though that’s certainly a bonus. Even better, quick breads are delicious and versatile. A quick bread can round out a soup lunch, serve as a festive appetizer or dessert, or provide a healthful after-school boost.
You can vary quick breads by using an array of nuts, dried or fresh fruits, and sweeteners. Include nutrition boosters like wheat germ, oats, and powdered milk. Try different pans (loaf pans, muffin tins, shaped baking pans, even cans). And whether you’re starting with an heirloom recipe or are inventing your own signature loaf as you go, use spices to make your quick breads richly distinctive.
To prepare a quick bread, simply mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, combine and pour into your greased baking pan. Keep these tips in mind for the best quick breads:
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, maple syrup, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, with a wire whisk, mix together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Stir pecans into the dry mixture.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, until just fully incorporated. Do not overmix. Spoon into the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
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