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 in 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!
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.
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:
- Combine all of your dry ingredients together
- Combine all of your wet ingredients together
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
Basic Quick Bread Recipe (Batter Bread)
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!
- 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)
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.
- 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.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and any other spices and herbs you might be using.
- 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.
- 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.
- If using any other add-ins such as cheese, berries, nuts, etc... fold them in now.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160
374 Comments on “Basic Quick Bread Recipe”
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.
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
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.
I know it’s a late comment but I just came across this recipe.
I make banana bread often and I only use 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. However, I do use 1/2 cup of milk plus, either 1 tablespoon of vinegar (added to the milk then wait 10 minutes) or 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt.
A trick I use with bananas is to freeze them and then thaw them before adding them to the milk to make up the 1 cup of liquid. It’s why I only use 1/4 c of sugar! The liquid from the thawed bananas is so sweet I don’t need any more sugar! Also, if you can get it, try using 1/2 teaspoon almond essence instead of vanilla. You won’t regret it. My children like when I add sour cherries or dried cranberries too, but my family likes contrasting flavors. Just an idea.
I hope these suggestions help someone.
Thank you very much for the reply. Would love to try your suggestion. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.
Thanks! You too!
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.
Pingback: Baking Powder, Yeast, and Sourdough Starter Bread – Bake Chem
I love baking
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!
Andrew in Santiago, Chile.
You’re very welcome!
Eggs are evil
Go Vegan !
It specifies in the Substitutions portion of the instructions: “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.”
Pretty clear to me. By the way, eggs are not evil, they are simply a source of protein and part of the lifecycle of chickens or other fowl; plus, not everyone can follow a vegan lifestyle. Either way, great recipe!
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!
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!
I want to use the three mini loaf pans. How long fo you bake? Mine are the Temptations ceramic pans. Do I use the same temp on the sweet bread recipe? Thank you for all the tips. I have finally learned not to over mix!
I made this with cheddar bits and it was so delicious. Thanks. 🙂 subscribed.
Yum! You’re welcome!
This is my favorite “quick” quick bread recipe. I always come back to it when I need a fast loaf for breakfast the next morning. I usually add in whatever dried ingredients I have on hand: right now, a sweet loaf is in the oven with golden raisins, dried cherries, chopped almonds, topped with shredded coconut. I subbed 1/4 cup of the flour with whole wheat. Always great results. Thank you!
That’s what I love about a great base recipe. Your loaf sounds lovely!
This recipe was quick and easy. Tasted great with savory stew!
I thought it was very watery. Too much liquid.
I followed the recipe spit on. Why?
I’m not sure why that would happen for you Sue. It is supposed to be a very liquid batter, as all quick breads are. But I’ve never had the issue of it being watery after baked. I’m not sure what could have gone wrong for you.
I mixed everything as stated and in the correct size of loaf pan and it started bubbling and flowing over. Not too happy about it at all. A pan BIGGER than 9″x5″ is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!!
Tried the walnut version. It was too humid, which I should have guessed from how the batter turned out. If you are looking for an actual quick “bread” like a scone or even banana bread this is much more like a cake, and not a very dry one at that.
Hi Sally! “Quick Bread” is an actual culinary term for something like a banana bread, or a muffin. That is what this recipe is. This is why I post so many disclaimers on this recipe to manage expectations that it is not like a yeast bread. I would suggest using my soda bread recipe next time if you want something closer in texture of a yeast bread without using yeast. https://bakerbettie.com/easy-irish-soda-bread-recipe/
I used Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Flour with this, and the whipped egg white suggestion, and it turned out absolutely amazing. We wound up making stuffing with part of it for Thanksgiving, which is allowing me to enjoy one of my favorite holiday foods and stay keto friendly.
Pingback: The 22 Best Ideas for Quick Easy Bread Recipe – Home, Family, Style and Art Ideas
Omg this is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I wanted to make a healthy and customizable quick bread. I used the sweet recipe as the base and made it vegan with the following adjustments: halved the sugar (wanted it to be “healthier”), used oat flour (adjusted the amount accordingly), used 3 flax eggs, used vegan butter, added orange juice and zest, added about 1.5 cups of dried cherries, cranberries, and walnuts. It came out so well!!!! It cooked longer, about 75 mins or so, because I used a deeper, narrower pan. Definitely saving this for future creations. Thank you!!
I also used almond milk!! ^^^^
That sounds delicious! That is exactly what this recipe is for! The ability to customize it to your tastes and preferences. I’m so glad you enjoy it.
Can I replace the milk or eggs with pumpkin puree?
i love the recipes
I’m so glad!
Hi, thank you for this recipe. I really love to try this. I have a question thou, how to make the buttermilk powder to liquid? Thanks in advance.
I like the idea of making 3 different mini loaves, how long should I bake them for?
I made the orange walnut version. I substituted chopped dates, instead of cranberry. All the dates were in the bottom. Any suggestions. The flavor and texture was fabulous.
So glad you liked it! You can toss your dates (or any fruit pieces) in flour before adding to your batter. That should help!
Hi, can the quick bread be made without eggs? Any difference in taste?
Can sour cream be used in place of buttermilk?
Can I make this recipe in my breadmaker using quick bread function? (Total time is 2hrs)
You can use a vegan egg replacer in this recipe. Depending on what you use, it will probably alter the taste a bit. Yes, you can use sour cream but it will make your bread a little denser, I would suggest watering down the sour cream a bit.
I don’t recommend using a bread maker.
Hi just finished baking my sweet loaf. Unbelievably came out perfect. My kids are enjoying it.. Thank you so much. From Namibia
You’re so welcome!
I was in quick need of a bread for dinner that could be done in less than 2 hours. I contemplated just doing a cornbread but that would not go very well with my planned and half-cooked dinner. So I went searching and found this recipe. I made it just as written, no substitutions or changes except that I had no time to let my milk or eggs come up to room temp. I made the savory version and it turned out GREAT! I could not be happier or recommend this recipe more! I plan to use the remaining few slices for French toast tomorrow morning if they make it past the midnight snackers and can’t wait to try add-ins! Thank you soooo much!
I’m so glad you liked it! Quick bread really is a lifesaver. Thanks for your review!
What makes Quick Breads/Muffin mix rise so high in the middle?
It does that because of the chemical leavening and the oven temperature. The higher temps will cause it to rise quickly instead of evenly.
I only like to use almond flour or something similar without the huge carbs that white flour has
Hi Baker Bettie, I noticed in your article here that you add the sugar to the wet ingredients if making a sweet quick bread. But you don’t mention this in your new book (which I’m really enjoying!). Has your thinking evolved regarding adding the sugar to the wet ingredients? Just curious to understand the discrepancy between your article and your book. Thanks!
Thanks for recipe
I am going to try making this later today.
The recipe looks fairly simple and quick, which will be nice.
Sweet bread with blueberries in 1 loaf
Banana nut in the other.
I am anxious and excited to give this a try and it also the pictures each loaf of bread looks delicious!!
Thank you for availability of this recipe.
Just for reference, reminds me a little of corn bread. I used olive oil and some Italian seasoning with some dried garlic. It was good.