Fresh baked bread holds a tradition all its own in the South. Although fruit and nut breads, such as banana, usually take about an hour to bake, they are in a category called “quick” breads. Quick breads, unlike yeast breads, use quick-acting baking powder and/or baking soda to make them rise and are baked immediately after mixing.

Baking Banana Bread

Over-ripe bananas are great for baking because they have lots of sweet flavor and a soft texture. Keep over-ripe bananas year-round by freezing them. Simply take the bananas out of their skins, seal them in a plastic bag, and place in the freezer. Then, whenever you want to make your favorite banana bread, all you have to do is defrost as many as you need, mash them, and proceed with your recipe.

Making Quick Bread Sandwiches

Little sandwiches made with fruit and nut breads are classic brunch and luncheon fare. Spread slices with plain or flavored cream cheese or flavored butters and cut into finger sandwiches, small squares, or triangles. For a special treat for the kids, spread slices of chocolate chip bread with peanut butter.

Freezing Quick Breads

Quick breads may be frozen for up to 3 months. Here’s how to properly freeze them:

  • Cool loaves completely; do not glaze or decorate.
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, plastic bags, or foil. Or, wrap individual slices separately, which will allow them to thaw more quickly.
  • Label the outside wrapping with the type of bread and the date. For optimum flavor, use within one month.