To keep holiday quick breads fresh and flavorful for a few days, it's important to store them properly. Here are a few tips to help you!
- Before preheating the oven, arrange the oven racks so that the bread will bake in the center of the oven.
- Be sure to check the freshness of your baking powder before you begin baking. Simply place 1 teaspoon baking powder in a cup and add 1/3 cup hot tap water. If active bubbling occurs, the product is fine to use.
- Do the same with baking soda by placing 1/4 teaspoon in a cup and adding 2 teaspoons vinegar. If active bubbling occurs, it's still fresh.
- Mix the liquid and dry ingredients only until moistened. A few lumps in the batter is fine. Over mixing causes the gluten in the flour to develop and the texture to be coarse and tough.
- To prevent moist quick breads from spoiling, let them cool completely after baking. Then wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. If your bread is made with cheese, cream cheese or other perishable foods, it should be refrigerated.
- For longer storage, place quick breads in heavy-duty resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Jazz up the butter you're serving with the quick breads. To make balls of butter, simply dip a melon baler in hot water and cut balls from a chilled 1 pound block of butter.