Quick and Easy Bread Recipes You Can Do Yourself

484163886Have you ever wanted to bake some hearty, homemade bread but then realized you didn’t have all day to prepare dough, let it rise, and then (finally) bake it? Well here’s a secret: not all delicious homemade breads require half a day to bake. There are a variety of recipes that use baking powder or baking soda, instead of traditional yeast, for leavening, cutting your preparation time by at least half. You can make sweet and savory loaves, muffins, scones, biscuits, pancakes and even popovers without taking hours out of your day.

We have compiled a list of some of the best-loved and best-rated quick bread recipes, all of which you can easily make with your own two hands. These tried-and-true recipes will enable you to have a sweet or savory bread on your table in a pinch.

Popovers and Pancakes

Classic Popovers

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Biscuits and Scones

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits

Classic Scones

Chocolate Chip Scones

Muffins

Tuscan Lemon Muffins

Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins

Blueberry and Oatmeal Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Whole-Wheat, Oatmeal and Raisin Muffins

Savory Loaves

Basic Beer-Cheese Bread

Kalamata Olive Bread with Oregano

Brown Soda Bread

Maple-Stout Quick Bread

Sweet Loaves

Orange-Pecan Tea Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread

Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze

Garden Harvest Bread

Classic Banana Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

Almond Bread

Walnut Streusel Bread

Kumquat-Cranberry Cornmeal Loaf

Whether you’re making a savory loaf to accompany your dinner, a batch of muffins for your afternoon snack, or a round of pancakes for a Saturday morning family breakfast, we have a recipe that you can whip up—and have on your table—in no time.

When you need to make bread in a pinch, remember to look out for recipes that use baking soda or baking powder for leavening—these recipes will always save you time and effort.

Don’t forget to follow our blog and check back soon for more delicious, quick-and-easy recipes!

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All About Leaveners For Baking

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Amateur and accomplished cooks alike will be familiar with leavening agents.  A leavening agent is also known as a raising agent. The baking product is used to create air pockets to ensure baked products rise. The Italian Home Kitchen blog team are passionate about food. However, today, we would like to tell you about the different types of raising agents available. Our team of professional cooks have tested various leavening agents and have come up with an efficient list of raising agents for you to trial.

Alternative Baking Leaveners

  • Ammonium Carbonate or Bakers Ammonia
  • Original Bakewell Cream
  • Instant Clearjel
  • Signature Secrets
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Bakewell Cream Baking Powder
  • Whipped Cream Stabilizer

These eight thickening agents and baking leaveners are supreme food thickeners for home baking. All eight effective culinary leavening and thickening agents are used by professional bakers. While many of these types of leaveners may sound exotic, they are commonly used in baking to achieve different textures, tastes and consistencies in doughs, cakes and other baked goods.

General Information about the Eight Baking Leaveners and Thickening Agents

  • Bakers Ammonia (Ammonium Carbonate) was once referred to as Hartshorn.  The chemical cooking leavener was widely used before you could buy baking soda and baking powder. We find this old-fashioned raising agent makes the crispiest crackers and cookies
  • We found Original Bakewell Cream acts in the same way as Cream of Tartar. The gluten-free raising agent is ideal for cookie baking
  • Instant Clearjel is a highly-concentrated thickener.  We discovered the Kosher thickening agent was perfect for making thick fruit pie juices
  • Signature Secrets is a good all-round thickening agent. We whisked the Kosher thickener into cakes, sauces, custards and pies. Our custard pies were unusually creamy and light
  • Cream of Tartar is yet another old-fashioned baking leavener. We used the raising agent in old-fashioned biscuit recipes. Our cooks also used it to make creamy icing and tasty candy. Use cream of tartar to make the perfect meringue, you won’t be disappointed
  • In our opinion, Xanthan Gum is a great emulsifier, stabilizer and baking leavener. The kosher thickening agent is also gluten-free.  We acknowledge some gluten-free treats lack texture and body, however, we discovered Xanthan Gum improves gluten-free recipes
  • The Original Bakewell Cream Baking Powder is an amazing raising agent. The fast-acting, non-aluminium, kosher leavener is ideal for baking muffins, cakes, biscuits and cookies
  • Add a little Kosher whipped cream stabilizer before whipping to prevent the cream from separating. We found the cream stabilizer also helped the dairy product to maintain body and freshness

With the abundance of modern leaveners such as baking powder and instant yeast widely available in grocery stores these days, many of these alternative leaveners are not commonly used anymore; however, if you are using traditional recipes, you may find that they call for these types of leaveners. Some more adventurous bakers may want to try using some of these leaveners, as they offer different textures, and can lead to softer cakes, stretchier doughs, and interesting tastes to all of your baking projects.

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Easy Homemade Irish Soda Bread

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Many people wish they could bake delicious homemade bread, but they think that the process is too cumbersome or that only professional bakers are able to produce a satisfactory loaf of bread. Fortunately, this is certainly not the case.

At Italian Home Kitchen, we’ve got the perfect recipe to get your started. A delicious loaf of Irish Soda Bread is not only easy to make, but it requires only the simplest of tools and ingredients. These are things almost everyone already has on hand.

This recipe leans more towards a traditional Irish Soda Bread, rather than the more Americanized and sweeter version that many people have become accustomed to eating. Real Irish Soda Bread is made with Irish wholemeal flour, similar to a coarse ground whole wheat flour that is used in many American kitchens.

To help lighten this bread and bring added flavor, we’ve added some delicious currants as well as bread flour, sugar, egg and butter. The list of ingredients is as follows:

2-1/2 c Irish wholemeal or 100% whole wheat flour
1-1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2/3 cups raisins or currants
4 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg

To Make the Bread

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In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and the raisins or currants. Cut in the butter using a pastry fork or mixer, until mixture is coarse and there are no big chunks remaining.

In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The dough should be stiff, but if it is too crumbly to come together, another 1 or 2 tablespoons of buttermilk can be stirred in.

Knead dough a few times just to make sure it holds together, then form it into a ball. Flatten slightly and place in an 8″ or 9″ round cake pan that is lightly greased. Cut a deep cross, about ½ inch deep across the top of the bread. Cut should extend all the way to the edges of the loaf.

Bake in a 400 degree F, preheated oven, for approximately 45 to 55 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean when inserted into the center of the bread and the bread should be golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter, if desired.

Bread yields approximately 12 servings.

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The Basic Ingredients You Should Stock Up on For Baking

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We all know someone who makes those magically wonderful desserts that just seem to melt in your mouth upon tasting them. While beginning cooks sometimes think that there must be some sort of magic involved, it’s really much more simple. Becoming a wonderful baker is more than simply having artistic flair or an uncanny ability. It’s simply about precision, patience and maintaining several basic baking ingredients in your kitchen.

The experts here at the Italian Home Kitchen Blog know that you’re probably not making cannolis every chance you get. Yet, we know that you need some basic pantry essential on hand that will allow you to create delicious treats whenever you like. To succeed in making wonderful treats, you need basic baking ingredients on hand that will allow creation of many different types of tasty sweets and desserts.

Here are basic baking ingredients that every well-stocked pantry should have:
• Unbleached all-purpose white flour
• Rolled oats
• Stone-ground cornmeal
• Salt
• Baking power
• Baking soda
• Granulated white sugar
• Confectioner’s sugar
• Brown sugar
• Honey
• Canned pumpkin puree
• Bar baking chocolate
• Cocoa powder
• Shredded unsweetened coconut
• Vanilla extract
• In-season ripe fruit
• Dried fruit

Some of those ingredients are no-brainers. After all, you can’t bake without flour, but rolled oats, for example, adds texture to cookies, while the different types of sugar have their own specific uses in baking. Plain white sugar, for example, is ideal for blending with wet ingredients. Baking powder and baking soda are essential for light and airy creations, white pure vanilla extract adds wonderful flavor to all sorts of breads and cookies.

As you become more savvy with your creations, you’ll want to add the following ingredients to your basic list to create even more tempting treats:
• Whole wheat and other alternative flours such as rye and gluten-free
• Coconut oil
• Alternative liquid sweeteners such as molasses and agave
• Alternative granulated sweeteners
• Raw sugar
• Corn syrup
• Cornstarch
• Vanilla beans
• Condensed milk and evaporated milk
• Ripe bananas

Check back often with Italian Home Cooking for more tips that will make you a savvy cook.