QUICK BREAD BAKING TIPS OVERVIEW
Muffins, biscuits, scones, coffee cakes and even crepes, pancakes and waffles are members of a family of sweets called quick breads.
Traditional breads leavened with yeast require at least one rest period
after mixing. These breads get a fast lift from baking powder, a
compound that does not need time, but liquid and heat to work its magic.
LEAVENER: I use baking powder as a leavener. This compound produces bubbles in the batter as soon as it comes in contact with liquid, then it fires its second round of “puff power” when the oven’s heat hits it. To get this power, your baking powder must be fresh.
While the expiration date on a tin might be a year from now, I
like to replace my baking powder every six months. (Mark the date on
the tin with a magic marker.) It’s better safe than flat. If you have
doubts about your powder, stir in a teaspoon into a quarter cup of warm
water and check for bubbling, the sign of life.
THE TECHNIQUE: It’s not just the leavening that’s quick in quick breads; they do best when mixed the least. For most of these breads, among them almost all muffins, you measure the dry ingredients (usually flour, sugar, baking powder and maybe spices) into a bowl and give them a few turns with a whisk to mix them up.
Next you put the liquid ingredients (eggs, melted butter, or oil
and maybe milk) and whisk them until they are blended. Then you pour
the liquids over the dry ingredients and gently and swiftly stir them
together. No beating and , unless the recipe instructs so, don’t worry
about lumps and bumps in the batter-most lumps disappear in the baking