20 Quick Bread Recipes for When You’re Low on Time

Hard truth: Making a legit loaf of bread from scratch is a typically laborious process that often involves special breadmaking equipment, considerable effort, and patience. But quick bread recipes deliver the same starchy goodness from only a fraction of the time and effort. 

Banana bread is probably the most popular kind of quick bread. In addition to veering on the sweeter side of things, what sets the quick bread category apart from regular bread, technically speaking, is the leavening agent. Quick breads typically rely on chemical leavening agents (like baking soda and powder) rather than natural ones (like yeast and sourdough starter). That means you don’t have to wait for these loaves to rise—hence the “quick” in their name. Plus, while natural leaveners are notoriously finicky—anything from the wrong water temperature to a few too many grams of flour could throw off your whole recipe off—chemical leaveners are pretty foolproof. As long as you’re measuring correctly, you can rest assured that your quick bread will puff up without a hitch. 

Another difference, and the biggest boon for many, is that quick breads don’t require any kneading at all. Traditional breadmaking relies on this step to facilitate the action of the wheat protein known as gluten, which helps create the stretchy, chewy texture we all know so well. But the process of making quick bread is more like baking a cake, and the results are similarly moist, tender, and delicate for that reason. 

Even though they aren’t bready in the classical sense, these quick bread recipes are ideal for all of your carby cravings, from throwing together sandwiches to whipping up French toast. And banana bread is just the tip of the iceberg. Expand your quick bread range with these 20 easy recipes. We’ve got you covered from sweet to savory and breakfast to dinner. Plus there are a number of vegan and gluten-free options that will satisfy just about any dietary need. So get baking, and you’ll be enjoying some exquisite homemade bread in no time. 

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