Quick breads are a very easy addition to any meal. They can also make a great snack. It is called quick bread because the leavening used is baking powder instead of yeast and there is no kneading involved. Because there is no yeast involved, there is no time needed to let the dough rise. The basic ingredients are flour, baking powder, baking soda, butter or some other type of fat, and milk.
Quick breads can be muffins, cornbread, coffee cake or breads. There are many muffin recipes. Almost anything can be added to the basic muffin recipe. For a sweet recipe, add chocolate chips, mashed bananas, pecans, brown sugar, pumpkin (for the holidays) or cinnamon. Add any fresh or frozen berries along with 1/2 cup of sugar. Many people grab a cup of coffee and a muffin for breakfast. It is quick and convenient. Many businesses use these breads for morning meetings. Many schools have Muffins for Moms days.
For a more savory quick bread, add chopped cooked bacon or ham and shredded cheese. Bake the batter in mini muffin pans for a delicious appetizer. Use large or medium muffin pans to make a bread to go with dinner. Other savory items to add would be cooked drained sausage, garlic and chopped onion. Add your favorite shredded cheese and you have a fantastic bread.
With the holidays coming, quick breads make a great gift for friends or co-workers. To make a beautiful gift, buy pretty baskets and festive dish towels. Bake 2 or 3 varieties of bread, coffee cake or muffins. Line the baskets with the dish towels and wrap each loaf or muffin in colored plastic wrap. Fill the basket with the breads. Add some Christmas candy, a coffee mug with packets of hot chocolate or just a big bow on top. This makes a very thoughtful and tasty gift. These baskets are great and inexpensive to make for almost any occasion: housewarming, new baby, or just I'm thinking of you. For more homemade gift basket ideas, go to living on a dime.