I have had this standard quick bread recipe tucked away for a very long time. My grandmother used to love baking these breads all the time. We would have them at breakfast time, as a quick grab snack during the day, or a treat at the end of the night with tea while watching our favorite shows together. There are so many choices that the possibilities are endless. You will never tire of making these quick breads. Of course my favorite is the old stand-by banana bread. I love that still slightly warm with a cream cheese glaze.
The steps are simple: just follow straight down the list and make your choices as you go. Have fun!
1. Pick your Flavor
Prepare 1 cup fruit or vegetables (one kind).
• Pear, shredded and squeezed dry
• Apple, shredded and squeezed dry
• Banana, mashed
• Carrot, shredded
• Zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
• Pumpkin Puree: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to puree.
2. Pick Your Mix-Ins
Pick one or mix and match up to 1 3/4 cups total of the following ingredients (use no more than 3/4 cup nuts). Make sure the nuts are chopped and toasted: larger dried fruits need to be chopped also.
• Dried cherries
• Dried cranberries
• Dried currants
• Dried figs
• Dried apricots
• Pitted dried dates
• Dried plums
• Dried peach
• Rolled oats
• Chocolate chips
• Chocolate chunks
• Butterscotch chips
• White Chocolate chips
• Dark Chocolate chips
• Cinnamon chips
• Caramel chips
• Peanut butter chips
• Mini Baking M&Ms (Just for the kids)
• Mini Hershey Kisses
• Sweetened shredded coconut
3. Preparing your Pan: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or three 6-by-3-inch mini pans
4. Making your Batter: Mix 1 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and salt, and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl; add your dry mix-ins (from step 2). In a medium bowl, whisk together your 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cooled melted butter or vegetable oil, 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon citrus zest (if you choose). Stir your fruit or vegetables (from step 1) into the egg mixture, and then fold into the dry mixture until combined.
5. Bake the Loaf: Spread the batter in your ready to go pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes for a standard loaf, 35 to 40 minutes for mini loaves. Cool 30 minutes in the pan(s) on a rack, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
6. Make a Glaze: Prepare a glaze, pour on the cooled bread and let set, 15 to 20 minutes.
• Chocolate: Whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
• Vanilla Bean: Whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and the seeds from 1 vanilla bean.
• Brown Butter: Brown 3 tablespoons butter over low heat; cool slightly. Whisk with 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Use immediately.
• Citrus: Whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon each milk and citrus juice, and 1 teaspoon citrus zest.
• Cream Cheese: Whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
The possibilities are endless: It All Starts with You.
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