Use this great recipe to make the fruit and nut quick bread of your choice. You can mix and match your fruit and nut selections to suit your taste and what you have on hand. It is not overly sweet and works well for breakfast or brunch. It incorporates a modest amount of whole wheat flour to enhance the flavors of the nuts and add a wholesome goodness and color to the bread.
Most quick bread recipes can also be used to make muffins. For muffins, fill prepared muffin tins 2/3’s full and reduce the baking time to 15 to 20 minutes. To make muffins from a mix, click here.
Quick breads store very well. To see how, click here.
Quick breads can also be used for French toast and for some very interesting sandwiches. You can even toast quick bread slices for a fast morning snack. For other French toast ideas, click here.
To get a free copy of “Ingredients and How They Work”, click here.
All American Fruit and Nut Quick Bread Recipe
2 1/4 cup pastry flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
7/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup chopped or slivered nuts
1 cup dried fruit pieces
1 large egg
1/3 cup cooking oil
2/3 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon extract
(7/8 cup sugar is 3/4 cup plus two tablespoons. If you would prefer a sweeter loaf, use a full cup of sugar or substitute milk for the water.)
Bakers’ note: The more sugar in the quick bread recipe, the browner the crust. If you substitute milk for the water, the lactose—which is a sugar—will cause a little more browning.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (except for the fruit and nuts). Stir in the fruit and nut pieces.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg with a fork. Stir in the cooking oil, milk, water, and extract.
3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture. With a spatula, mix the two together until moistened. Do not over mix—over mixing will develop the gluten in the flour and make for a tougher bread.
4. Scrape the batter into a well-greased 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. The loaf will tend to rise in the center so make sure that enough batter is pushed to the edges for a more uniform loaf.
5. Bake for about an hour to an hour and ten minutes or until done. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into a crack in the center of the loaf. The toothpick will come out clean when done. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
Quick breads are best if stored overnight in a cool place. The flavor of the fruit is developed and dispersed by storage and the bread tends to be moister.
Apricot Nut Bread
Use dried apricots snipped into small pieces. Use 1/2 teaspoon orange or rum extract or one teaspoon vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon orange zest.
Blueberry Lemon Nut Bread
Use frozen or fresh blueberries but do not add them until last so that the berries do not discolor the batter. Keep the blueberries frozen until they are added to the batter. Use one teaspoon lemon extract and one teaspoon lemon zest.
Apple Walnut Bread
Use dried apples snipped into small pieces. Use one teaspoon vanilla extract. Use chopped walnuts.
Cranberry Nut Bread
Use dried cranberries. Use 1/2 teaspoon orange extract and one teaspoon orange zest.
Would you like exceptional cranberries for your baking? Click here for cold-processed cranberries (not available in stores).
Cherry Almond Bread
Use dried cherries and slivered almonds. Use one teaspoon almond extract.