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  • Easy-to-make quick breads freeze well, make great gifts

  • Here are some easy to make tasty quick breads. They can be made for your own enjoyment or as a gift for someone special. For best flavor let the bread sit overnight. Most quick breads can be frozen, and usually have a better flavor when they are. They taste delicious whether room temperature or toasted. I like to make a loaf then slice it, then freeze it so they’re ready for instant one-slice use.
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  • Here are some easy to make tasty quick breads. They can be made for your own enjoyment or as a gift for someone special. For best flavor let the bread sit overnight. Most quick breads can be frozen, and usually have a better flavor when they are. They taste delicious whether room temperature or toasted. I like to make a loaf then slice it, then freeze it so they’re ready for instant one-slice use.
    If your bread has a ledge on the top edge, next time grease only on the bottom and ½ inch up the sides or the pan. This will let the batter cling to the sides of the pan instead of sliding down during baking. Make sure to check the bread about 10-15 minutes before the minimum baking time is reached. Cover bread with foil if it is browning too fast. Don’t be concerned about a crack down the top of the loaf. It is typical of quick breads.
    Try this butter with honey bread spread on your sliced bread: Stir together ½ cup butter, softened, and 2 tablespoons honey. Makes ½ cup. Chill for an hour then serve.
    I just won a second place at the Cape Fear County Fair 2013 for my Zucchini Raisin, Nut and Cream Cheese loaf. The bread doesn’t taste at all like zucchini and the cream cheese gives it a nice texture. Try it for the holidays.
    Enjoy!
    Zucchini Raisin, Nut and Cream Cheese Loaf
    (This is a Cape Fear County Fair 2013 Winner)
    Makes two 5 x 9 inch loaves.
    4   eggs
    1   cup canola oil
    2   cups granulated sugar
    3 ½  cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    ½  teaspoon salt
    1   teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1   teaspoon baking powder
    2   cups grated zucchini
    1   cup chopped pecans
    1   cup dark raisins
    1   teaspoon vanilla
    1   8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5 x 9- inch loaf pans, set aside.
    In a bowl beat together eggs, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer.
    In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients alternately with zucchini into egg mixture. Add cream cheese and vanilla and beat. Fold in raisins and nuts.
    In a 350 degree oven bake for 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 15 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.
    Pineapple Nut Bread
    Makes 1 loaf.
    2   cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    ½  cup granulated sugar
    1   teaspoon baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    Page 2 of 3 - ¾   cup chopped pecans
    1   cup dark raisins
    1   large egg, room temperature, beaten
    1   teaspoon vanilla
    2   tablespoons melted butter
    1   teaspoon baking soda
    1   cup crushed pineapple – undrained
    In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add pecans and raisins and stir.
    In another bowl mix together beaten egg, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix well. Dissolve 1-teaspoon baking soda in 1-cup crushed pineapple and add to egg mixture. Add this mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just blended. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake 1-hour at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    All-Natural Honey-Raisin Bread
    Makes 1 loaf.
    1   cup milk
    1   cup honey
    ¼   cup butter, softened
    2   large eggs, room temperature, beaten
    1   cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 ½  cups whole wheat flour
    Pinch of salt
    1   tablespoon baking powder
    2/3  cup dark raisins
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
    In a saucepan combine and mix milk and honey, over low heat, stir until well blended. Remove from heat and beat in butter, eggs, flours, salt, and baking powder until well blended. Fold in raisins. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake one hour in a 350 degree oven, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and slice when thoroughly cooled.
    Moist Cornbread
    ½  cup butter
    1   8-ounce container sour cream or Greek yogurt
    2   large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
    2   tablespoons granulated sugar
    1   8-ounce can cream-style kernel corn
    1   cup self-rising white cornmeal mix
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in oven for 5 minutes or until butter melts.
    In a bowl combine sour cream, eggs , sugar, and creamed corn, mix. Stir in cornmeal and mix until just combined. Stir in melted butter. Pour batter into hot skillet.
    Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
    Poppy Seed Tea Bread
    Makes 2 loaves.
    3 ½  cups granulated sugar, divided
    ½  cup orange juice
    2   teaspoons orange zest
    3 1/3    cups unbleached all- purpose flour
    4   teaspoons baking powder
    ½  teaspoon salt
    1 2/3 cups canola oil
    3   large eggs, room temperature
    2   teaspoons almond extract
    1 2/3    cups milk
    Page 3 of 3 - 4   tablespoons poppy seeds
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9x 5 x 3 – inch loaf pans.
    In a heavy saucepan over medium heat bring 1-cup sugar, orange juice, and orange zest to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Set this orange glaze aside to cool.
    In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt and blend well.
    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat remaining 2 1/3 cups sugar, oil, eggs, and almond extract until pale yellow and thick, about 4-5 minutes. Beat dry ingredients into sugar mixture alternating with milk. Stir in poppy seeds. Divide batter between the two prepared pans.
    Bake breads in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove the pans to a work surface and using a slender wooden skewer, poke holes into each loaf of bread. Gradually spoon orange glaze over hot breads in pans, dividing equally and allowing glaze to be absorbed after each addition. Cool breads completely in pans.
    Eggnog Bread
    This is a great holiday bread for special breakfasts and teas. It also makes a wonderful gift for that someone special.
    Makes 1 loaf.
    ¼   cup butter
    ¾   cup granulated sugar
    2   eggs, room temperature, beaten
    2 ¼  cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    2   teaspoons baking powder
    ½  teaspoon baking soda
    Pinch of salt
    1   cup eggnog
    2/3  cup chopped pecans
    2/3  cup dark raisins
    2/3  cup chopped red candied cherries
    In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, and eggs, mix well.
    In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternating with eggnog. Mix only until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in pecans, raisins, and cherries.
    Spoon batter into a greased 8 x 4 – inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead. 
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