Quick breads! Hot breads! Good breads! Thanks to baking powder
by Virginia Carter Lee
During the summer, when an impromptu picnic or porch supper is planned, frequently the home caterer finds that her breadbox is not equal to the demands made on it, and yet there is not time to “set” the yeast loaf. Of course, baker’s bread can help out in the emergency, but if the family is accustomed to the genuine home-made article they probably feel like the little boy who declared that he would rather have mother’s bread than most cakes.
Fortunately, these “quick breads,” as they are called are not difficult to make, and although when they contain fruit or nuts, they are much better if allowed to stand for twenty-four hours before cutting (especially if to be used in sandwiches), still they are delicious as they come warm and fragrant from the oven with a rich brown crust that looks as good as it tastes.
Most of the baking powder breads will be lighter and better if allowed to stand for twenty or thirty minutes after they are placed in the greased pans before baking. Never do this, however, if baking soda has been added.
With the exception of the Boston brown bread, it is recommended that only sufficient baking soda be used to correct the acidity of the molasses and sour milk, depending on baking powder as the leavening agent.
Mix together two cupsful of bread flour, one-third of a cupful of sugar, four teaspoonsful of baking powder and one teaspoonful of salt. Work in with the fingertips two tablespoonsful each of butter and butter substitute and then add one whole egg and the yolk of another, whipped until light, one cupful of milk and half a cupful of chopped [noisette, aka hazelnut] nut meats. Beat well, turn into a buttered bread pan, let stand for twenty-five minutes and bake in a moderate oven. If this bread is to be sliced thin for sandwiches, it should stand for some hours before cutting, and is better when it is twenty-four hours old.
Mix together two cupsful of bran, one cupful of white flour, half a teaspoonful of salt, four teaspoonsful of baking powder and half a cupful of chopped, seeded raisins. Also mix together half a cupful of New Orleans molasses, one and a half cupsful of well-soured milk and a half teaspoonful of baking soda. Then blend the liquid (when it foams) with the dry ingredients, pour into a greased pan and bake for three-quarters of an hour in a moderate oven.
Sift together one and a half cupsful of rye flour, half a cupful of wheat flour, one teaspoonful of salt and four teaspoonsful of baking powder. Rub in with the fingertips half a cupful of peanut butter and add a quarter of a cupful of sugar and one cupful of milk. Mix well and bake in a moderate oven thirty to thirty-five minutes. This, like the Noisette bread, is better when twenty-four hours old.
Wash one cupful of prunes, soak overnight, drain, stone and chop finely. Mix together two cupsful of entire wheat and half a cupful of wheat flour, one-quarter of a cupful of sugar, one tea? spoonful of salt and four teaspoonsful of baking powder, then add slowly one cupful of milk, the prepared prunes and one tablespoonful of melted shortening. Put in a greased pan, let stand for twenty-five minutes and bake in a moderate oven for one hour. Dates may be used in place of prunes, and in that event decrease the sugar one-half.
Quick graham bread
Mix together one cupful and a half of graham flour, half a cupful of wheat flour, half a teaspoonful of salt and four level teaspoonsful of baking powder. Beat one egg lightly, add one cupful of milk and gradually blend the liquid with the dry ingredients. Also add one-quarter of a cupful of molasses and three tablespoonsful of melted shortening. Pour into a buttered oblong pan, let stand for twenty minutes and bake about thirty minutes.
Mix together one cupful each of rye meal, granulated cornmeal and graham flour, and add one teaspoonful of salt, three-quarters of a cupful of dark molasses and two cupsful of sour milk, into which has been stirred a level teaspoonful of baking soda. Turn into two small, or one large, greased molds and steam for two or two and a half hours (according to the size of the loaf). Unmould and dry off in a moderate oven.