Baker Bettie

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 recipe can be made savory or sweet and is an excellent base recipe that can be used to make endless variations! Pin it for Later »

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!

Sweet quick bread loaf wrapped in cloth

Sweet Quick Bread

What is Quick Bread?

Quick bread is a category of non-yeasted bread like baked goods that are made very quickly. 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 loaf

Double Chocolate Quick Bread

Sweet quick bread loaf sliced up

Basic Quick Bread Recipe (Batter Bread)

Yield: About 10 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

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

  • NOTE: For more details about this recipe, scroll past the recipe card.

For Savory Quick Bread

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or self-rising flour (*see note for making gluten free)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder (leave out if using self-rising flour, see note for making without baking powder)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (leave out if using self-rising flour)
  • 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 or self-rising flour (*see note for making gluten free)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder (leave out if using self-rising flour, *see note for making without baking powder)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (leave out if using self-rising flour)
  • 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)

Instructions

Note: A quick bread is a culinary term for a bread like product that uses baking soda or baking powder, instead of yeast, to leaven it. The texture of a quick bread is very different from a yeast bread. A quick bread has more of a muffin like texture and flavor. If you want something that is closer to a traditional bread but without yeast, I highly suggest trying my Irish Soda Bread Recipe.

  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. This will be a batter, not a dough. For the sweet quick bread, only stir until the flour is absorbed and then stop. The more you stir the more more tough the bread can 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 for the savory quick bread and 50-55 minutes for the sweet quick bread, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumb.

Notes

NOTE: Quick breads (aka batter breads) a different in texture than yeast breads. This is the name for bread like products made with chemical leavening and are more like a muffin in texture. Think similar to a banana bread or zucchini bread.

SAVORY VARIATIONS

  • 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 VARIATIONS

  • 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.

SUBSTITUTIONS

  • 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.

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Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160
 

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335 comments on “Basic Quick Bread Recipe”

  1. Followed the savory recipe, and used the olive oil version recommended in the post. It was in the oven for 50 minutes but it probably could have used another 10.  Is this an issue with the oils released from the olives?  I’m wondering if adding items with fats of their own increases the bake time. 

  2. all i wanted was a recipe, too many if this then see note, if that see note, i can not make sense of the notes. i am not a regular baker but the need arose with this lock down.
    i would like to use self raising flour in the microwave. Thank you your bread look impressive. Martin

  3. Hello, Kristin. Greetings from the Philippines!

    Would love to try the sweet version of your basic quick bread recipe. I have few questions though: 1) if i’m going to add mashed bananas, can i reduce my sugar to 1 cup and substitute baking soda instead of baking powder? 2) Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour?

    Thank you very much for your reply and for sharing your wonderful recipes.

    Stay safe and healthy. God bless us all.

  4. OMG! I tried this recipe, the sweet bread version, and it is absolutely delicious. It turned out so great. This sweet bread recipe can take the place of a having to make a pound cake. My husband and his employees absolutely love it. This recipe is too good to be so simple. It is definitely something I will do for friends, family, and the biggest food critic I know, my five-year-old grandson. Love, love, love this recipe.

  5. Pingback: Baking Powder, Yeast, and Sourdough Starter Bread – Bake Chem

  6. I love baking

  7. Hello, Kristin.
    My lack of plain flour today was what made me search for a quick bread recipe online, and that led me directly to this one on your website.
    I doubled the basic ingredients, and added crushed mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed), crushed walnuts, lots of raisins and a roughly mashed small banana to fill two bread tins.
    A perfect in fifty minutes! This is my new favourite base, then, for future flavour combination experiments.
    I really do appreciate, too, your in-depth explanations on how the baking ingredients interact. This is really useful.
    I’ll be back for sure!
    Many thanks,
    Andrew in Santiago, Chile.

  8. Eggs are evil
    Go Vegan !

  9. THIS RECIPE CAME VERY DRY FOR ME. I WONDER IF IT IS BECAUSE I USED WHITE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR INSTEAD OF ALL PURPOSE WHITE (BLEACHED AND ENRICHED) FLOUR? I MADE THE SAVORY VERSION, ADDING IN PARMESAN CHEESE AND CHOPPED FRESH ROSEMARY. BAKED IT FOR 42 MINUTES. THIS IS A NICE EASY RECIPE – WOULD LIKE TO TRY AGAIN. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!

    • Hi Susan,
      I think you’re right! I suspect that the whole wheat flour was what made it dry. Whole wheat flour absorbs alot more liquid than all-purpose. Try it again with all-purpose and let me know what you think!

  10. I made this with cheddar bits and it was so delicious. Thanks. 🙂 subscribed.

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