1 As their name suggests, quick breads are just that-fast and very easy to make.
2 Quick breads range from pancakes to tender, flaky biscuits to moist, rich nut breads.
3 Quick-acting baking powder rather than slower-acting yeast is the leavening agent for quick breads.
4 It consists of an acid, such as cream of tartar, and an alkali, such as baking soda, which react with one another in the presence of moisture to form a gas.
5 In batter or dough this gas forms tiny bubbles that expand quickly, creating the structure of the quick bread.
6 To be sure it is always fresh, purchase only a small quantity of baking powder at a time.
7 Baking tips use shiny pans and cookie sheets, which reflect heat, for golden, delicate and tender crusts on muffins, coffee cakes and nut breads.
8 Grease only the bottoms of muffin cups; muffins will then be nicely shaped and have no rim around the top edge.
9 Grease only the bottoms of loafpans for fruit or nut breads.
10 The ungreased sides provide a surface for the batter to cling to while rising during baking, which helps form a gently rounded top.
11 Cool nut breads completely before slicing to prevent crumbling.
12 Cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, using a light sawing motion.