Basic Quick Bread Recipe

A quick bread is a bread that is made without yeast and can be prepared and baked with minimal time needed. This quick bread recipe can be made savory or sweet and is an excellent base recipe that can be used to make endless variations! 

I love having base recipes in my arsenal. Tried and true recipes that can be adapted to make endless variations! This adaptable savory or sweet quick bread is the perfect blank canvas to make time and time again with any flavor combination you can think of!

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Sweet quick bread loaf

Sweet Quick Bread

What is Quick Bread?

Quick bread is a category of bread like baked goods that do not require yeast to make them rise. The lack of yeast in quick bread allows them to be prepped and baked very quickly, hence the name!

Muffins, biscuits, scones, and loaf breads that do not contain yeast (like this one) all fall into the “quick bread” category.

Quick Bread Mixing Method

The mixing method used for quick loaf breads, like this one, is called The Muffin Mixing Method. If you are curious to learn about this method in depth, I suggest checking out my article on The Muffin Mixing Method. But in short, the process only involves a few simple steps.

Muffin Mixing Method Steps:

  1. Combine all of your dry ingredients together
  2. Combine all of your wet ingredients together
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and gently stir to combine.

Baking Science Note: If making a sweet quick bread, the sugar is included in the wet ingredients. This is because the sugar will begin absorbing some of the liquid and will help reduce the gluten development once the liquid is added to the flour.

Savory quick bread sandwich slices

Slices of Basic Savory Quick Bread

Ingredient Functions

To make the very basic version of this quick bread, you only need 6 simple ingredients. These 6 ingredients build the basic structure and base flavor of the bread. Once that base is built, add spices, extracts, and any add-in you can think of to flavor your bread!

The basic savory version of this bread could be used as a substitute for a yeast bread if you are unable to have yeast. It does have somewhat of a different texture and flavor than regular yeast bread, but works well if you are unable to make traditional bread.

Ingredients for basic quick bread: flour, eggs, salt, baking powder, oil, milk

Flour

Flour is the foundation of quick bread. The proteins found in wheat flour form a sturdy structure through the formation of gluten strands once the flour is combined with a liquid. The gluten structure expands when baked and this is what traps the gases from the chemical leavening (the baking powder) to keep the height of the bread.

Quick tip: If you happen to have self-rising flour on hand it can be used in this recipe to simplify it even further. If you use self-rising flour you can omit the salt and the baking powder from the recipe because it is already included in the flour.

Gluten Free Quick Bread

I have tested this quick bread with several gluten free flour blends such as Cup 4 Cup and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Blend. A gluten free blend works well in this bread, however it should be noted that due to the lack of gluten structure the bread can tend to fall when it comes out of the oven.

In order to reduce the shrinkage in the gluten free version of this quick bread, I suggest separating your eggs and whipping the whites to medium peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter as the very last step before putting the batter into the pan. This will help give the bread structure and lift.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent, meaning it is what makes the bread rise. Because this is not a yeast bread, the baking powder does the heavy lifting. Literally!

Quick Bread without Baking Powder

During my years of recipe development, I have learned that there are many people who are looking for recipes without baking soda or baking powder for one reason or another. Due to this need, I have figured out a perfect hack for making many baked goods without baking powder or baking soda.

The solution is the same as the solution for preventing shrinkage on the gluten free version of this bread: whipped egg whites. Whipping air into the egg whites forms a network of protein bonds that traps the air bubbles inside. As the proteins heat they will create a stable network to keep these air bubbles in your bread, effectively doing the job of rising your bread without baking soda, baking powder, or yeast. However, it should be noted that while this technique does work if absolutely needed, bread made without the baking powder is slightly more dense.

Salt

The main function of salt is to flavor the quick bread, but it also serves to strengthen the gluten structure. It is a very important part of almost all baking recipes, whether savory or sweet.

Milk or Buttermilk

This quick bread recipe can be made with regular milk or buttermilk. If making the savory version of this bread, I highly recommend using buttermilk or a buttermilk substitute as I think it lends great flavor to the bread. The very basic savory recipe could be used as a sandwich bread if you are not able to have yeast bread and the buttermilk lends almost a sourdough flavor to the bread.

Dairy Free (Vegan) Substitute

Any non-dairy milk will also work well in this bread if you need for it to be dairy free or vegan. Just note that all non-dairy milks have varying flavor profiles and will alter the flavor of the bread.

Oil or Liquid Fat

Virtually any liquid fat will do the trick in this recipe. The oil in a quick bread recipe serves to add richness and moisture to the bread. I typically use canola oil or vegetable oil but melted butter or coconut oil also works fine. You may also enjoy the flavor olive oil brings to the savory version of this bread.

Eggs

The eggs in this recipe serve the purpose of binding the structure together as well as helping to leaven the bread (make it rise).

Egg (Vegan) Substitutions

Typical vegan egg replacers such as Ener-G Egg Replacer, Chia Egg, or Flax Egg all work well in this recipe to make an egg free version.

Sugar (for the Sweet Quick Bread Variation)

In the sweet version of this quick bread recipe, the main purpose of the sugar is to obviously sweeten the bread. You can use granulated sugar, light brown sugar, or a combination of sugars.

Sugar is also hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs and holds moisture. For this reason, the sweet version of this bread is more moist. Brown sugars are even more hygroscopic than granulated sugar, so keep that in mind when deciding which sugar to use for your sweet quick bread. I love the depth of flavor dark brown sugar brings to my sweet versions.

Variations

Because this recipe is a “base recipe” it is the perfect blank canvas for endless variation ideas. I love to separate the batter into 3 mini loaf pans and add different add ins to each! Use you imagination to come up with any flavor you can think of! Or keep it simple!

From Left to Right: Sun Dried Tomato Basil Quick Bread, Cheddar Bacon Chive Quick Bread, Olive Quick Bread,

Double Chocolate Quick Bread

Double Chocolate Quick Bread

Basic Quick Bread Recipe

This basic quick bread recipe is adaptable to be savory or sweet. The recipe is delicious as is, or use it as a base recipe and add any spices, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or any add-ins you like! There are endless combinations!

Ingredients:

For Savory Quick Bread

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (*see note for making gluten free)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder (*see note for making without baking powder)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk, room temperature (*see note for substitution)
  • 6 TBSP canola oil (or any other oil or liquid fat)
  • spices or mix-ins as desired (*optional)

For Sweet Quick Bread

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (*see note for making gluten free)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder (*see note for making without baking powder)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (*see note for making egg free/vegan)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk, room temperature (*see note for substitution)
  • 6 TBSP canola oil (or any other oil or liquid fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated or brown sugar (or combination of both)
  • 1/2 TBSP vanilla (*optional, but is a good base flavor for most all sweet quick bread variations)
  • spices or mix-ins as desired (*optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and prepare a 9″x 5″ (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan with pan spray or lined with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and any other spices and herbs you might be using.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, sugar (if making sweet quick bread), and any other extracts or liquids you may be using.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir the two together until combined. For the sweet quick bread, only stir until the flour is absorbed and then stop. The more you stir the more more though the bread can be become. For the savory quick bread, it could benefit you to give it a good stir for about a minute to purposefully develop some of the gluten strands so that it has more of a bread-like texture to it once baked.
  5. If using any other add-ins such as cheese, berries, nuts, etc… fold them in now.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumb.

Recipe Notes:

Savory Variation Ideas:

  • Cheddar Bacon Chive Quick Bread: Cook 6 strips bacon until crispy & crumble. Fold in the bacon, 3 TBSP finely chopped chives, and 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Sundried Tomato Basil Quick Bread: Add 1 TBSP dried basil into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Olive Loaf Quick Bread: Use olive oil as the oil in the recipe. Add 1/2 TBSP dried oregano into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 1/2 cups chopped, pitted, greek olives (such as kalamata) right before putting into the pan to bake.

Sweet Variation Ideas

  • Double Chocolate Quick Bread: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch processed) into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips into the batter right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Cranberry Orange Quick Bread: Add 3/4 tsp orange zest & 2 TBSP orange juice into the wet ingredients. Fold in 1 cup of rough chopped fresh cranberries right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Walnut Spice Quick Bread: Add 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp clove, 1/8 tsp allspice into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup toasted & rough chopped walnuts (or pecans would also be good) into the batter right before putting into the pan to bake.

Substitution Notes:

  • To make gluten free quick bread: Use a good gluten free flour blend made for baking. I have tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free Baking Flour as well as Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour with success. Note that the bread can tend to shrink when taken out of the oven due to the lack of gluten structure. I have found that if you want to maintain the height of the bread in the gluten free version that it would serve you well to separate the eggs, whip the whites to medium peaks, and gently fold them in as the very last step before putting the batter in the pan. This will help hold the structure of the bread.
  • To make vegan quick bread: Any non-dairy milk can be used in this recipe in place of the milk and the buttermilk. Replace the eggs with equivalent vegan egg replacer. I have found that EnerG Egg Replacer yielded the best results, but flax or chia egg will also work.
  • To make quick bread without baking powder: Separate the eggs and keep the whites aside. Mix the yolks into the wet ingredients and whip the egg whites medium peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter right before putting the batter into the loaf pan, being careful not to deflate them. Please note that this substitution will create a bread that is not quite as fluffy as bread make with yeast or baking powder. It should be used only if absolutely necessary.
All images and text ©.
This basic quick bread recipe is adaptable to be savory or sweet. The recipe is delicious as is, or use it as a base recipe and add any spices, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or any add-ins you like! There are endless combinations!

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104 comments on “Basic Quick Bread Recipe”

  1. In contrast to another post-er, I REALLY like the "base" recipe, probably because I like the "eggy" taste. I do look forward to varying it, but so far I keep making it plain because I so enjoy it that way. Thanks for such an easy and delicious recipe. ❤️
  2. I tried this bread recipe and the bread didn't rise hardly at all hard on the outside and raw like dough on the inside and cooked at 350 for 55 minutes it was awful
  3. I doubled the recipe and made one savory and one sweet loaf! My husband and 2 of 3 kids loved both! For my oil, I used a combo of butter and coconut oil. My sweet loaf incorporated 1.5-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spices and vanilla extract, along with an oatmeal crumble topping. I'll probably use applesauce as well next time I make it. For the savory loaf, I included the extra salt (as noted in the recipe), italian seasoning, basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. So, so good! Thx for sharing your recipe!
  4. I love the idea of having an allergen friendly recipe but it didn't work for me. Can you tell me how I can get the bread you made without adding milk or egg. I used applesauce as a my wet ingredients but it didn't rise. It didn't taste that good either. My son has most of the common allergens. Especially to nuts.
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  6. You could try soy, rice, or oat milk for the milk and mixing about 1/2 tsp of baking powder to the applesauce for the eggs-that might help it to rise better.
  7. Was wondering if anyone has used wheat flour in this recipe? Am looking for yeast free bread recipes as my daughter is allergic to yeast and nutritionist said yeast is in white flour already. I haven't used wheat much yet.
  8. I love this adaptable bread. It looks so moist, and your photos are beautiful!
  9. I made one with oat flour, but I only needed half the amount of liquid. I doubled the recipe and realized I forgot to double the milk (I used milk kefir), but the batter seemed runny enough. Baked at 375 for 1 hour. Replaced half the oil with applesauce, added cinnamon. No sugar in the dough, but I did grease the pan with butter and dusted with a cinnamon sugar mixture like another reviewer suggested. Going to try soaking the flour overnight with my milk kefirs second ferment for better digestibility.
  10. I made one with oat flour, but I only needed half the amount of liquid. I doubled the recipe and realized I forgot to double the milk (I used milk kefir), but the batter seemed runny enough. Baked at 375 for 1 hour. Replaced half the oil with applesauce, added cinnamon. No sugar in the dough, but I did grease the pan with butter and dusted with a cinnamon sugar mixture like another reviewer suggested. Going to try soaking the flour overnight with my milk kefirs second ferment for better digestibility.
  11. Apple cinnamon version of this recipe it is so good thank you for the recipe. It's so delicious and so pretty
  12. I just made this bread and it's very good! I'm looking forward to trying the many variations!
  13. For reason I can not get this to work I just recently decided to start making my own bread so I don't know if m doing anything wrong. I followed the recipe exactly only added a bit of dried herbs to it. And both times be tried it's come out still very wet (i guess you would call it doughy or raw) on the inside. I would love for some help
    • Maybe your oven temp is the problem. I read somewhere that once you preheat the oven, you should let the oven warm up for 5 to 15 minutes before adding any baked goods. I did that and it came out perfect at 45 minutes in a glass loaf pan.
    • Check the loaf with a toothpick or cake tester when it comes out of the oven. If it is liquid in the middle it needs to cook longer. Pull it out when the tester has moist crumbs on it!
  14. So... the Directions under # 3 say to add the sugar to the wet ingredients, but the Ingredients list does not mention any sugar... I would assume that lack of sugar would effect baking time and texture... ???
    • Yeah, I had problems with this one as well. I made the base recipe as noted and it didn't rise much and was really inedible. I think no matter what there should probably be some sugar added. I did try letting it bake longer but even after almost an hour in the 8x4 pan noted it wasn't really done.
  15. Made this Simple bread and turned out just great. Taste great and looked so pretty.  This was my first time making a homemade bread and so happy for this recipe, my husband  was telling me that his Mother made her own bread almost daily so this was for him and he loved it. Thank You for this Awesome Bread recipe. 
  16. This bread was very eggy tasting. It does not come out as light as bread made with yeast. It did not have a crust like regular bread. It came out more cornbread-like than anything. 
    • Hi June, This is "quick bread" which is not at all like yeast bread. Quick bread has more of the texture of a muffin or you actually, cornbread, which is also a quick bread. If you are wanting something like a traditional yeast bread, I suggest you give my quick no-knead skillet bread a try!
  17. how much sugar?
  18. Thanks for not only giving the receipt but explaining  how each ingredient works in what is being made so i can't just change or eliminate an ingredient. Excellent for a learner  like me. 
  19. Pingback: Pumpkin Pie Coffee Cake - The Fed Up Foodie

  20. Wonderful! I made the basic bread with garlic and rosemary to accompany homemade turkey soup and it was the perfect match. Thank you so much!
  21. It looks so moist, and your photos are beautiful!
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