Chocolate Banana Bread

A Troubleshooting Guide for Quick Breads

Nathan Hawkes Nathan Hawkes Feb 13, 2024

Quick breads are those made with chemical leavenings, not yeast--typically baking powder and /or baking soda.  Zucchini bread and banana bread are typical quick breads.

Yeast, under the right conditions makes for a lighter loaf. The gas from the yeast lifts the dough higher and with more open voids in the loaf, the heat passes more readily and baking doesn't take as long. 

Yeast and chemical leavenings create two very different products. Both can be very good.

It's not unusual to run into some issues along the way. The most common causes for these issues is usually over-mixing the batter or adding too much fat or sugar, but that isn’t always the case.

Whether your quick bread is too crumbly, too dry, too dense, or otherwise; this troubleshooting guide should help.

quick bread

Common Quick Bread Problems

If your quick bread has:

A cracked top: A cracked top is desirable and not a fault.

Tunnels and voids: Tunnels and voids, or elongated holes, in the bread are a symptom of over mixing. Mix only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Some lumps may remain, and that’s okay.

A tough texture: A tough texture instead of a tender texture is another symptom of over mixing. Occasionally, too high of a baking temperature will cause toughness.

A soggy texture: If the batter is left for too long before baking, it may be soggy or sunk in the middle. If there is too much liquid or not enough leavening, the bread may be soggy.

A coarse, crumbly texture: Your quick bread should be moist and dense. Too much fat (butter, oil, or shortening) or too much leavening (baking soda or baking powder) will cause the bread to be crumbly.

A bitter, soapy aftertaste: Too much baking soda or baking powder will create an aftertaste.

Too thick or too brown of a crust: A tough thick crust may be caused by too high of oven temperature or too much sugar.

A greasy crumb: Too much fat will create a greasy texture.

Crisp edges: Too much fat or too much fat and sugar will create crisp edges.


zucchini quick bread

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