Get Started Baking Quick Breads (With Easy Banana Bread Recipe)

| 12/18/2013 2:57:00 PM

Tags: bread baking, Virginia, Heather Alf,

I bake bread every other day, often every day. And I am often asked by my friends where do you start? How do you learn?

In all fairness, I have been around home-baked bread as long as I can remember. My grandfather is an Italian immigrant, and as far as I know, he has never eaten a piece of store-bought bread. He bakes a daily Italian loaf, pronounced “pan-ay.” He always sent loaves home with us when we went to visit.

Time constraints precluded my mother from baking the fresh bread that my grandfather baked; however, she often baked quick breads such as pumpkin, zucchini and, our family favorite, banana bread. I was always allowed to help.

When I was about 8 years old, I made banana bread by myself, following the directions exactly. It was perfect, sweet, golden brown, warm and delicious. From that moment on, I was hooked, baking at every opportunity. Throughout my childhood, I baked quick breads, muffins, cookies, and pastries (all just fancy breads right?). My friends Brenda and Christine, and I even started Home, Baking, Club (HBC, a pretty clever acronym for three 11-year-old girls).

When I first got married, I decided that I wanted to bake all of our bread from scratch. No problem, I just went to the library and checked out a couple of books. I looked in the table of contents — no recipe for Grandpa’s bread. I decided to go directly to the master and ask for the recipe. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to follow. It went something like this: You mixa a little flour lika this with-a that-a… The result? A rubber ball! Yes, it bounced. Many descriptions of dough include the word elastic, but I’m quite sure that I did something wrong.

With much trial and error, I’ve baked many a loaf that did not bounce, maybe some almost as good as my grandpa’s. I hope to share with my readers the tricks that I have learned to make bread-baking doable for even the most inexperienced bakers.

1/22/2014 2:56:54 PM

Is this recipe correct is saying "2 Tablespoons Baking Powder"? I used this and my batter overflowed my 9 x 5 loaf pan. Perhaps it should be 2 teaspoons baking powder... Thanks!

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