I am an avid reader of Food Network Magazine, and while there have been tons of great articles and recipes over the years, one of my absolute favorites was their Mix & Match Quick Bread. After making sorbetto with freshly picked strawberries a few weeks ago, it totally reminded me exactly how great it is to make things with fresh, locally grown produce and so I decided it was time to make up a batch of quick bread. Despite the name, quick breads are simply any bread made with leavening agents other than yeast or eggs and therefore include a lot of cakes, muffins, and cookies. More commonly, quick breads refer to sweet, cake-like breads that contain fruit or vegetables such as banana or apple. I love quick breads because they are very easy to make, can be made in any size loaf pan (making them great for gifts), and they freeze & defrost extremely well.
Since zucchini is in season I decided to start with a zucchini bread. I’ve made tons of different variations of zucchini bread over the years but, I think this batch was my favorite. I used the basic recipe in the article, but replaced the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon with zest of a half of lemon. As far as mix ins went, I kept it simple with just craisins. The cranberry-lemon zucchini bread turned out awesome. Replacing the cinnamon with lemon zest gave it a bright summer flavor instead of a spicy fall flavor. I definitely will be making this bread throughout the rest of the summer!
Since I’m a total overachiever, I couldn’t just stop with one type of bread so I also decided to make my favorite versions of banana bread and carrot bread. Even though I hate bananas, I love banana bread especially when chocolate is involved. It’s most likely because when I was little my Gammy used to always have chocolate covered bananas and banana bread at her house. For the banana bread, I simply follow the basic instructions using banana as my fruit and 1 3/4 cups chocolate chunks.
My carrot bread is actually a take on my favorite carrot cake recipe. Therefore it uses dried pineapple (1/2 cup, diced), shredded coconut (1/2 cup), and toasted pecan pieces (3/4 cup) as it’s mix ins. The end result is a super moist bread with a great texture due to the shredded coconut. This is definitely my family’s favorite out of all the quick breads I’ve ever made. While I’ve never bothered adding glazes to my quick breads, I can only imagine that the cream cheese glaze would be amazing on this one.
Have you made quick bread before? What’s you’re favorite type of quick bread?