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Stuck in the kitchen Christmas morning while your family is having fun elsewhere in
the house? Quick breads may be your answer!
Nashville, Ark. – It doesn’t matter how old your children are, when it comes to Christmas
morning. If your house is like ours, Christmas morning is mayhem, even though my children
are grown. Opening gifts, family members arriving, and getting to church on time all
leads to a very hectic morning. The last place I want to be is in the kitchen preparing
breakfast while all the fun it taking place elsewhere in the house.
Quick breads make ahead of time are a great way for having a nutritious
breakfast without spending all morning in the kitchen. They can be made well ahead
of time and frozen or make just a couple of days before the big day and enjoy them
Quick breads use products other than yeast, as leavening, such as baking
powder or soda. Many times your quick bread recipes will call for buttermilk, vinegar,
sour cream, yogurt, cream of tartar or fruit juices. The reason for this is that these
items are acidic and are needed to work with the baking powder or soda.
Because quick breads contain no yeast, no time is spent kneading or waiting
for the product to rise. Quick breads also have more of a cake like texture. They
need to be tested for doneness the same way you would chick your cake, with a cake
tester or toothpick. If it comes out clean when inserted in the middle, the bread
You may also test for doneness by noticing that the bread will pull away
from the sides of the pan when it is done. It is best to leave the bread in the pan
for 10 – 15 minutes, before removal to a wire rack to continue cooling.
To assure that your quick breads will be perfect for Christmas morning,
following directions for the recipe is the best insurance policy. Organize all ingredients
before starting and re-read the recipe so you won’t miss a step. Lining up all recipes,
ingredients and tools ahead of time will assure that nothing is left out, saves steps,
and keeps drawer and cupboard handles free from grease or dough as you reach for last
After baking the quick bread ahead of time, you can freeze it so that
it only needs to be reheated on Christmas morning. To do this, allow the bread to
cool completely. Wrap with plastic wrap, then foil. Place into individual freezer
bags and label with bread name and date baked. As a general rule, frozen quick breads
maintain their quality for up to three months in the freezer.
Most frozen quick breads are at their best when thawed, heated and served
warm. To heat frozen bread, remove from the freezer, remove all the wrapping and let
sit until thawed. Rewrap in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10
minutes. Serve warm with fruit, coffee, juice and milk.
If you invest a little bit of time in the kitchen today preparing quick
breads for your Christmas breakfast, you can spend the morning with your family. For
more information on eating healthy, contact the Howard County Extension Office at
870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
I want to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year!
Here is a quick bread recipe that you might want prepare for Christmas
morning. It uses cranberries, which are available only during the holidays. You might
want to purchase an extra bag of fresh ones and put them in the freezer to have later.
It only takes a few minutes to mix this tasty bread. Pop it in the oven while you
are wrapping presents!
1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray pan(s). Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar and
vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In another bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly mix into
wet batter until combined. Fold in cranberries and nuts.
One greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan-bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees. Four
mini loaf pans-bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Note: I coarsely chop the cranberries before adding to mixture.
Yield: 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
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