Quick Breads

Cherry Almond Quick Bread Recipe

Quick bread is any bread leavened with leavening agents other than yeast or eggs. (Note I don’t include cakes, brownies and cookies in this section)

Quick breads include many cakes, brownies and cookies—as well as banana bread, beer bread, biscuits, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones, and soda bread.

Preparing a quick bread generally involves two mixing bowls. One contains all dry ingredients (including chemical leavening agents or agent) and one contains all wet ingredients (possibly including liquid ingredients that are slightly acidic in order to initiate the leavening process). In some variations, the dry ingredients are in a bowl and the wet ingredients are heated sauces in a saucepan off-heat and cooled.

“Quick bread” most probably originated in the United States at the end of the eighteenth century. Before the creation of quick bread, baked goods were leavened with either yeast or by mixing dough with eggs.

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), the demand for food was high, and labor for conventional bread making was scarce. Thus, bread was rapidly made and leavened with baking soda, instead of yeast. Hence the name “quick bread”. The “discovery”, or “rediscovery”, of chemical leavening agents and their widespread military, commercial and home utilization in the United States dates back to 1846 with the introduction of commercial baking soda (one component), in New York—Messrs. Church and Dwight of Arm & Hammer fame—and to 1856 with the introduction of commercial baking powder (two components), in Massachusetts, although perhaps the best known form of baking powder is Calumet, first introduced in West Hammond, IL/Hammond IN (later called Calumet City, IL) in 1889. Both forms of food-grade chemical leaveners are still being produced under their original names, although not within the same corporate structure.

The unavailability of these chemical leaveners in the American South, during the Civil War, contributed to a food crisis therein. Indeed, even an essential food flavoring and food preservation agent, salt, was in short supply, and often had to be reclaimed and reused. (Wikipedia)