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

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

Double Chocolate Quick Bread

Basic Quick Bread Recipe  (Batter Bread)

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: The amount of salt has been reduced in this recipe due to many reviews stating it was too salty. I highly suggest not reducing the amount that is currently stated.

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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301 comments on “Basic Quick Bread Recipe”

  1. I was looking for a quick bread to make with butter chicken this evening, and came across your recipe.
    I loved the ingredient list… and was able to whip it up in no time.
    I used self raising flour, because I think my baking powder has gone bad.
    And then I also whipped the egg whites wanting a lighter, fluffier bread.
    Topped with some pumpkin seeds and black poppy seeds, it baked beautifully.

    Everyone loved it. Muffin like taste and texture.
    Next time I won’t whip up the egg whites though, give it a more firmer texture.

    Thank you so much for posting! It was delicious!!!

  2. Thank you! Worked great!

  3. Looks good, going to give it a try. I used to have to cook/bake gluten-free for a family member. Just wanted to add that you need to specify to use ‘GF vanilla’ for the sweet GF version, as regular vanilla contains wheat gluten in the alcohol.

  4. Excited to try thank you!! I especially love the variation option and suggestions. 
    I do have loaf tins but do you think this recipe would work if I moulded mixture into a log and placed in oven like that? 

  5. I ran out of bread and I was looking for an easy recipe where I had all the ingredients in my pantry. That’s how I found your recipe! I made this and it was delicious. We all enjoyed it. Now my kids want to make bread every night. I used self raising flour because that’s what I had. It worked great. I’m going to make it again and try some of the other flavors. This recipe is a keeper! We love it.

  6. I made this as a dinner bread with Thankgving meal. It came out great, and it was mentioned that it had a taste/consistency of a popover. I used x-v olive oil, and added 3 types of grated cheese. Strangely, the flavor of the cheese didn’t hold up well although still delicious, and great with butter. Today I’m going to make it with 2 types of sliced olives, and only parmesan cheese. Also, I only had almond milk when I made it, used that and a tablespoon of acv, you’d never know that I didn’t use regular milk or buttermilk. So easy to make, this recipe is a keeper, thank you.

  7. I just tried the Basic Sweet Quick Bread Recipe. It was terrible. Did you really test this recipe? It’s watery and thin–more so than a cake batter. The mini-chocolate chips all sank to the bottom. And the bread itself was tasteless and heavy textured. What a waste of ingredients. I can’t serve this to anyone.

    I would definitely not recommend this recipe to anyone.

    • Hi Coral, I’m so sorry to hear you had difficulty with this recipe. I have made this recipe at least 50 times. It is a staple in my house. You can see in the video for the recipe that it does set up firm. I’d love to help troubleshoot. Quick breads are by definition a batter. I tried to explain this in the recipe with notes because many people assume this will be like a yeast bread, which is is very different from. Quick breads are batter breads that are made with chemical leavening and are similar to a muffin in texture the way it looks in the picture. It shouldn’t be watery though. So I’m a little confused as to what might have gone wrong there. I’m wondering if perhaps there was accidentally too much liquid or not enough flour. So sorry to hear you didn’t have luck with this recipe as it is a favorite for many.

  8. I made this tonight I doubled the recipe and added cheese, and garlic. It was delious. Awesome recipe I always add something. Lol

  9. I made the savory quick bread. Recipe was nice, but I think calling this a bread recipie is very disingenuous. Theres nothing bread-like about it. ‘Mildly savoury cake’ would be a far more apt title. It was very dense and moist, like a good sponge cake, and ever so slightly sweet (likely from all of the milk this recipie requires for some reason). Anyone looking to make this for a quick bread fix – set your expectations accordingly.

    Would reccomend, but not to someone looking to make a bread product.

    • Hi Joe, Thanks for the feedback. I can understand where you are coming from, however, “quick bread” is the actual culinary term for this recipe. Quick bread refers to recipes like this that are leavened with baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast. It is the same category as banana bread or zucchini bread, which can be argued are also a bit more like a cake. The difference is the formula and mixing method is different that puts it in the quick bread category rather than cake. I understand that the everyday person doesn’t know this which is why I make so many disclaimers in the recipe to try to set expectations for what a “quick bread” truly is. Did you feel the additional notes in the recipe were not adequate? I really do not want to mislead people with the recipe. Thanks!

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  11. Excellent Quick bread base! Exactly what I’ve been looking for. The quantity of batter ends up being a fair bit more than most standard size recipes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I tend to like to put in a good amount of add ins, so I’m sure this is partly a “me” issue, lol. Gonna have to buy an extra set of mini loaf and pans. 

    I’m at altitude; 5300 feet. Increasing the temperature to 375, reducing sugar by .5 cup for the sweet version, and baking for 45 minutes for mini loaves (to 200F) was perfection. Just as a note to other altitude bakers. 

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  14. Several years ago, I saved a copy of your smaller version of this basic recipe (using 1.5 c flour) which referenced a sweet apple-cinnamon option (mentioned in a few of the replies dating back to then), but, in the interim, that recipe is now nowhere to be found. Only aware that the a-c version called for 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla. Could you provide the other changes/ingredients to facilitate giving it a try? TIA.

  15. I’ve made this loads of times – sweet and savoury – and every time it’s stunning. Thank you so much for Todd recipe. My metaphorical back pocket and I thank you. 

  16. Wow the recipe for a basic quick bread (gluten free)was excellent I just finished baking it we all love the bread and I followed the note for gluten free, self rising flour the bread came out perfectly. Thank you!!

  17. How long does this bread keep if we don’t add easily perishable toppings or mixins?

  18. If I have self-rising flour do I leave out the baking powder? 

  19. Can a glass baking dish be used to bake bread

  20. I can’t see the tip for the buttermilk substitute

  21. This recipe was so great, and I love how it is a basic recipe that I can add onto later. I also just wanted to applaud you, and say thanks for all of the scientific info in regards to adding certain ingredients, and the function of the directions. I really look forward to trying to make the sweet version, and execute this one even better.

  22. This bread has always come out delicious! I have passed on your website to my friends who right now, with the stores bereft of yeast and loaves of bread, have been looking for a good delicious bread recipe. They rave over it! I do mine gluten free. Thank you for an easy lifesaver yeast free recipe right now during hard(covid19) times

  23. Hello! I am so excited to try this as I’ve been looking for a great quick bread recipe. The chocolate one looks amazing too!! Question–have you ever tried this with sour cream instead of milk? Would it be a 1:1 substitution if so? I never have buttermilk but am wondering if sour cream will give it a nice savory flavor?

  24. Soda bread recipe
    It’s moist easy to make
    But only complaint I would have is the salty taste.
    But give 4 stars for everything thing else.

  25. I dont understand why you would make a recipe using self rising flour, and then have the other ingredients present of your not supposed to put them in. If you have as your first ingredient self rising flour and then the next ingredient is something you dont add with self rising flour, that just makes no sense I went added the baking powder and then looked to see how much salt and at the bottom it says not to add for self rising and then the same for the powder. This is ridiculous, it’s two different recipes, why do I have to make sure to double check what to add if its SUPPOSED TO BE ONE RECIPE.

  26. Thank you need this sense Covid 19 

  27. I was looking for a recipe to make bread with self raising flour and came across this! My bread has turned out brilliantly, I am so pleased! It has risen beautifully and turned a lovely golden brown. Granted the texture is more cakey (as mentioned) but I love it and can’t wait to test out some other flavour variations!

  28. Can you do this in a bread maker or is better in the oven??!

  29. Funny that you reduced the salt in this recipe. While our family really enjoyed this bread, we ALL thought it needed more salt!
    I wish you had kept the original recipe posted, with a “reduced salt” variation; the same way you have all the other variation options.
    I’d be interested in knowing what the original salt amount was, before I just start experimenting.
    Thanks for this great recipe!

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  33. Can this be made in a bread machine? And if so, what setting should I use?

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