by Sheridan Lane, director, culinary programs and operations, Lincoln Land Community College
Homeschooling, e-learning or limited attendance face-to-face, this school year is happening in a million different ways, but it is happening. Dads, moms, babysitters, grandparents, neighbors and others are stepping up to help out whether a little here and there or in very big ways.
Teachers and administrators have reimagined, experimented, reworked, fast forwarded, implemented and redesigned an entirely new way to teach and learn in a relatively short amount of time. Everyone has had to summon open mindedness, imagination and patience to get through each and every day, but we are doing it.
Now, more than in recent years, the saying, “It takes a village” is playing out in spectacular ways. One way to continue to uplift those that are helping your family’s world go round is to show your appreciation in some small way. Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Here is one “big batch” way that you can quickly and easily make a special treat sure to put a smile on the faces of those you wish to celebrate for roughly $25 or less. Quick breads are fast and easy to make and can be baked in easily accessible disposable tins that make delivery and clean up fast and easy.
I am including several variations that start with a batch recipe and can be modified in whichever way suits your tribe, or if it is you who are juggling all of the hats and could use a treat to go with your bottomless cup of coffee, see the suggestions below for freezing tips and tricks.
Suggested items you will need to get started: 30 pack disposable aluminum mini loaf pans (6×3.5×2), butcher paper (if freezing), parchment paper, plastic wrap and ribbon.
Quick Bread Base Recipe
Choose one of the following options as this is a base recipe intended to utilize a variation below. Be sure to follow the steps for dry vs. wet ingredients.
6.5 cups all-purpose flour (this recipe works well with GF flour – I love Namaste brand as a cup for cup substitute)
3 tsps. salt
2 tsps. baking soda
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
WET INGREDIENTS + sugar
6 cups sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
8 eggs, beaten
- Zucchini, fresh apple or fresh pumpkin – 4 cups grated fruit, 5 oz water, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp allspice (Nuts Optional – 2 cups pecans or walnuts chopped)
- Frozen peaches – 8 cups frozen peach slices chopped, 5 oz heavy cream, 2 tsp nutmeg, 2 tblsp vanilla, ½ cup packed brown sugar
- Frozen strawberries – Omit cinnamon, 4 cups sliced strawberries, 2 oz triple sec, 2 tblsp vanilla, 4 oz heavy cream, 3 tblsp poppyseeds
STEP 1: Prepare pans by generously spraying sides and bottoms of mini loaf pans. If planning to freeze bread, line the bottom and long sides with trimmed parchment paper, and then spray all sides and bottom. Arrange mini loaf pans on 2 cookie sheets. Arrange oven racks in center of the oven with space between racks to allow heat to circulate. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients, your desired variation, and slowly add dry ingredients a little at a time while mixing on low. Divide ingredients equally among mini loaf pans and bake 15 minutes; then switch bottom and top pans and bake approximately 6-10 minutes more or until inserting a toothpick in center comes clean. Cooking time may vary slightly with different variations as well as how evenly oven heat is distributed.
Step 3: Let breads cool completely before wrapping with plastic wrap. If freezing, once breads are completely cool, gently remove breads from foil pans and wrap in butcher paper. Then wrap again with plastic wrap.