Mixing Bread Dough

Most quick bread loaves and coffeecakes are mixed in one of two ways. Follow instructions in your recipe.

Muffin Method (most common)

  • Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in one bowl with a whisk or fork to distribute all ingredients completely.
  • Combine the liquid (wet) ingredients in another bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients all at once. Using a wooden spoon, mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened, 15 to 20 light strokes. There should be some small lumps. Overmixing can cause quick breads to be tough, bake unevenly or cause elongated holes (or tunnels).
  • Chopped nuts, fruit and other small "add in" ingredients may be combined with the dry ingredients or folded gently into the batter near the end of mixing.

Creaming Method

Quick breads mixed using this method are often richer and have a finer, cake-like texture than those prepared using the muffin method. This method can be done by hand or with an electric mixer. Unless your recipe indicates otherwise, follow the steps below when baking quick breads by the creaming method:

  • Remove the butter or margarine from the refrigerator 30 minutes before using, or cut the stick into 1-inch pieces and beat with electric mixer until softened. Butter or margarine that is too soft or melted will change the texture of the bread and should not be used.
  • Combine (referred to as "creamed") softened butter or margarine or vegetable shortening and the sweetener, beating or stirring vigorously until smooth and creamy.
  • Add eggs and liquid flavorings and continue mixing. This mixture may begin to look separated, but this will not affect the final quick bread texture or flavor.
  • Most recipes combine the flour and other dry ingredients before adding them to the butter mixture.
  • Raisins, chocolate chips, other "add ins" and, sometimes oats, are added last. Once dry ingredients have been added, don't beat vigorously or overmix. Overmixing can result in a tough quick bread.