Quick breads are the favorite of many because they are ‘quick’ to prepare and can be baked immediately after incorporating them. They are the perfect choice for those of us who do not have the time to work with a bread that requires prepared yeast. These breads instead use chemical leaveners such as cream of tartar, baking soda or baking powder to help them rise.
Another great feature of the quick bread is how versatile they are. You can use the base ingredients of your quick bread recipe and create a wide range of substitutions or variations.
If these breads are so quick and easy to work with, what has gone wrong if yours did not rise?
7 Reasons Quick Bread Does not Rise
1. Over-filled pan:
One of the more common reasons your quick bread will not rise is if you have filled the pan too full. Once the batter reaches the top of the pan and it still needs to rise, it will collapse.
You should prepare your loaf pan by greasing the sides if the recipe calls for it. Make sure you are using the proper size pan, which will be indicated in the recipe you are following.
When you fill the pan, fill only halfway if you are using an eight-inch pan, and three-quarters if you are using a nine-inch pan.
2. Old leavening agents
For most people, an open container of baking powder will sit in your kitchen for months, sometimes years. Because it is a powder, many feel it cannot go bad.
While it is true that the powder does not go bad in the sense that it is unsafe to use, it can go bad in terms of not doing its job. Baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar are used as leavening agents in your quick bread recipe.
If these products have been sitting in your cupboard for a while, they may have lost their potency. Lost potency may be the reason behind your quick bread not rising.
You can keep these leavening agents for quite a while if they are correctly stored. Keep the packages in a cool, dry place and away from any source of moisture. Once you have opened the packages, ensure they are sealed tightly before storing them. All packages of your leavening agents should have a ‘best-by’ date stamped on their side. Use this date as a guide for how long you can expect them to retain their ability to help your quick bread rise.
3. The material of the baking pan
While the material of your baking pan may not influence how your quick bread rises, it does impact how evenly it will bake. Metal is a conductor of heat and glass is an insulator. A glass pan will heat slower, but once hot; it will perform better in keeping hot.
This heating may cause your edges and bottom to brown too quickly and often before the inside is fully cooked. You may experience a drier bread from a glass pan.
Many bread bakers will use a lighter metal pan and line them with parchment paper to prevent over-baking, and the ease of removing the loaves once finished baking.
Non-stick pans are also great for avoiding over-browning of bread and the fact that they will heat more quickly during the critical baking phase. The non-stick pan is also a better pan for making a higher rise in your quick bread.
4. The temperature of the oven
If you are unsure whether or not your oven is heating to the temperature you select, you can purchase a thermometer and confirm its accuracy.
If you use glass pans for your quick bread baking, the temperature should be reduced by twenty-five degrees from what the recipe states. Temperatures impact how your bread bakes.
When trying to achieve a crusty bread, a higher temperature is used. When you are looking for a soft-shelled bread, you will want to use a lower temperature.
5. Moisture in ingredients
Quick breads offer you a wide range of incorporating different ingredients into your recipe. If you have chosen to use berries, rhubarb, bananas, zucchini, or another fresh ingredient, you will want to make sure excess moisture is removed.
Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the product as possible and carefully measure to ensure the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Too much liquid in your quick bread will have an impact on how well it will raise.
6. Overmixing the batter
For most of your quick breads, there are three methods used to mix the ingredients and combine the ‘rise’ of the chemical leavener. The most common practice is the muffin method, which involves thoroughly mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl.
The liquid or wet ingredients are combined in a separate bowl and then added to the dry all at one time. You will want to mix the two just until all dry ingredients are moistened.
Over mixing will cause your bread to become tough and bake unevenly.
The other mixing method is the creaming method involves creaming your butter with the sweetener until creamy and smooth. The liquid ingredients are added to this and mixed vigorously, and then dry ingredients are added.
This mixture cannot be over-mixed either as it will create a tough quick bread.
Another method for mixing quick breads is the shortening method. This method is often used in baking biscuits.
With this style of mixing, you cut the solid fat, whether lard or butter into the flour and other dry ingredients. This layering process gives rise and will add flakiness to your finished bread.
If your quick bread was underbaked, its cell structure would not set. If the cell structure doesn’t set properly, there are air spaces created by the leavening agent, which will collapse.
This collapse causes your bread to sink. To determine whether or not your quick bread has baked long enough, test its doneness. Remove the loaf from the oven and use a wooden toothpick to insert into the middle of the loaf.
If the toothpick comes back out clean or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the bread is done.
Quick breads are favorites among those who want to prepare and serve a great tasting, home-made product at their table.
You will love the variety of recipes available with these types of breads and how they can enhance any menu and add not only great taste but a ‘touch-of-home’ appeal to your table.