A Simple Tip for Lighter, Fluffier Quick Bread

posted by Andrea | 04/7/2016
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quick bread

Quick breads and muffins are a family favorite almost any time of the day.

We eat them with eggs, sausage, and fruit as part of our breakfast, we eat them as a more filling afternoon snack, we even eat them as a dessert (a.k.a. double chocolate zucchini bread!)

Our kids love mini muffins instead of regular ones, and I often make 4 or 5 mini loaves instead of 2 larger loaves and give a few of them away (or just put them in the freezer for later).

It’s not unusual for us to have 2 or 3 different types of muffins or quick breads in our pantry at any given time… banana chocolate chip, cinnamon, and blueberry are our favorites!

Obviously, if we’re eating muffins and bread so regularly, that means I’m baking them regularly as well. I usually try to make 1 or 2 batches of quick bread every week — along with various other cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, etc. (what can I say, we love our sweets!)

Over the last 10 years of regularly baking quick breads, my personal favorite (and my kid’s favorite) has ALWAYS been Banana Chocolate Chip. I don’t know what it is about that recipe, but it’s SOOOOOOOOO good! In fact, I’m almost always asked for my recipe whenever I bring these muffins to a potluck or other party.

I never really thought about why everyone seemed to like my Banana Chocolate Chip bread and muffins so much — except for the fact that they had chocolate in them (which is always a plus in my book). However, about a year ago, I had a “light bulb moment”.

I realized that my recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip bread says to separate the egg yolks and egg whites — the yolks are added to the batter right away, but the whites are beaten until fluffy and added right at the end. I figured maybe the extra air beat into the whites helped the banana bread to be lighter, fluffier, and tastier.

I started trying it with other quick bread recipes, and to my surprise, it seemed to work extremely well. My quick bread recipes have all improved based on this super simple tip.

I simply beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until it’s very foamy and starting to get to the soft peak stage (use how ever many eggs your recipe calls for). I do this BEFORE I make the rest of the muffin batter so my mixing beaters are still clean.

Then I make the batter as directed in the recipe. The only difference is that I fold the soft and foamy egg whites into the batter right before I dump the batter into the pan (or into the muffin tins).

The extra air that the egg whites have incorporated expands as the bread or muffins bake, making them lighter, fluffier, and “taller”!

Yup… SO SIMPLE! 

It honestly takes almost no extra effort on my part — and the results are quite fabulous!

Banana-Muffins-4

Oh, and don’t let the egg whites intimidate you… this isn’t anything like making a meringue pie, and it’s almost impossible to mess up. Just beat the egg whites until they are starting to firm up, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold them into the quick bread dough right at the end.

That’s its!

Need a recipe to test my theory with?

Here are our MOST favorite quick bread and muffin recipes:

NOTE: I have only personally tested this with quick breads — not yeast breads, pound cakes, rolls, or any other baked goods. Also, I have no scientific proof or amazing research to prove my theory is true.

However, I do have taste buds and a brain — both of which tell me that my quick bread tastes lighter, fluffier, and better when I add the beaten egg whites into the batter right at the end 🙂

What are your favorite quick bread recipes or tips?

quick bread

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20 comments

  1. Sarah

    04/08/2016

    Your chocolate bread in the 3rd picture looks delicious! Is the recipe on your blog?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sarah,
    I honestly can’t remember if that was a bread recipe, or the cake recipe I often make into bread loafs 🙂
    I think it was this bundt cake recipe that I made into 2 bread loafs — it IS amazing!

    [Reply]

  2. Shelly

    04/07/2016

    Great tip! I love baking quick breads and muffins, so I will gladly give it a try on my next baking day! Thanks for sharing!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hope it works well for you too!! I don’t think there’s any way beating the egg yolks separately could HURT a recipe… so you most likely don’t have anything to lose 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Karen

    04/07/2016

    Thanks for all the recipes!! I am trying to buy less processed bars and such, and trying to bake more. That is a great tip with the whites!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we love breads and muffins for quick snacks — and I think they end up being A LOT cheaper than buying the bars from the store. If you are packing lunches every day, I would suggest making muffins instead of bread and putting the muffins in the freezer. That way, you can just pull a few muffins out as you pack your lunches and they should be defrosted by the time you’re ready to eat them.

    You could bake up a bunch at a time and have snacks for weeks!

    [Reply]

  4. Michelle

    04/07/2016

    Maybe the air…and maybe the proteins change when you beat them. Instead of a tight protein ball they tend to stand end to end which could make your bread rise higher. I think that is the theory behind flourless cake. I may try this today- your bread looks so good!

    [Reply]

  5. Laura

    04/07/2016

    Thanks for the tip! I’ll be trying this out next time I bake for sure!

    [Reply]

  6. Lynn O.

    04/07/2016

    Thanks for sharing! I never thought of that but it makes perfect sense! I will have to try it!

    [Reply]

  7. Leanne

    04/07/2016

    I’m a huge quick bread fan!!! I bake several at a time and then freeze them :-)…. I’m even lazier about it though… I buy several of the Aldi muffin/quick bread products and whip them up as a bread…I also use cake mix and make a copy cat of the lemon bread at Starbucks with lemon pudding added to the mix! I also keep several of the disposable foil tins for bread making and then they pop right out….
    p.s. I tried shredding the chicken with my hand mixer and it worked like a DREAM!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh I frequently make the cake + pudding “quick breads” too! We love them, and they make great gifts as mini loaves!

    also, SO glad the chicken shredding tip worked well for you too 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Debbie

    04/07/2016

    My grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe requires that you separate the eggs and then whip the whites until stiff peaks form. You then fold the egg whites in at the end. It results in light, airy pumpkin pie that is the best ever! I feel like I’m eating less calories when I make her pie vs. the typical dense pumpkin pie!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I LOVE pumpkin pie — maybe I’ll have to try separating the eggs for that too!

    [Reply]

    Debbie Reply:

    If you do, let me know how you like it!

    [Reply]

  9. Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life

    04/07/2016

    Interesting! We love quick breads over here to. I have my grandma’s pumpkin bread recipe and it’s amazing. I’m curious to try this with it and see what happens. It’s a pretty dense bread, which I like, but maybe I’m missing out

    [Reply]

  10. Jen

    04/07/2016

    You’re in good company! I just saw “The Pioneer Woman” give this same tip about cakes on one of her shows last week! She said that whipping the egg whites separately (and then folding them gently into the batter) makes the cakes light and airy.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh great — now everyone is going to think I “stole” the tip from her! For the record, I wrote this post 2 weeks ago AND I don’t get the channel her show is on 🙂

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Oh no! I didn’t think about that. Sorry!

    [Reply]

  11. Jenny Z

    04/07/2016

    I have to tell you, I make your banana chocolate chip muffins all the time and I get so many compliments on them. I too give them as gifts and just keep them for us to snack on. I don’t know what it is about that recipe either that makes them so good, because in my case, I can’t use eggs. My kids are allergic and I make them with my water/oil/baking powder substitute. But they are by far our favorite use for old bananas. And so delicious. Everyone of your recipes we try quickly ecomes a favorite.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well that IS interesting! I’m impressed that the bread turns out just as yummy with no eggs!
    Obviously, you won’t be using my egg white tip any time soon — but glad you are still enjoying my recipes 🙂

    [Reply]