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The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Bread that is quick to make because it doesn’t require kneading or rising time. That’s because the leavener in such a bread is usually baking powder or baking soda, which, when combined with moisture, starts the rising process immediately. In the case of double-acting baking powder, oven heat causes a second burst of rising power. Eggs can also be used to leaven quick breads. This genre includes most biscuits, muffins, popovers and a wide variety of sweet and savory loaf breads.

Some tips from Lisa:

•Quick breads can be sweet or savory, they are a modern innovation they became common after the introduction of baking powder and baking soda.
•Baking powder is a combination of acid and alkaline that reacts together when moistened to form gases that raises the baked quick bread. Usage 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of flour.
•Baking soda (an alkaline salt, sodium bicarbonate) is used when the liquid is acidic, such as buttermilk, honey, molasses, tomato sauce etc. Usage ½ to 1 teaspoon per cup of acidic liquid.
•Be sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh.
•Measure ingredients accurately, using the measuring tools and techniques suggested.
•Preheat the oven to the correct baking temperature. Arrange racks so that the bread will bake in the center of the oven which has the best heat distribution in the oven.
•To allow for good air circulation while baking, leave at least 1 inch of space between pans and between pans and sides of oven. Switch pan positions and rotate pans halfway through baking.
•The two top secrets to moist, tender quick bread is 1)in the mixing always use a quick light technique so you don’t over-mix the batter 2) don’t over-bake since this cause dryness in the final baked product.

Biscuits, coffee cake, muffins_ they’re all quick breads. My recipe for the quick bread challenge is for the coffee cake, simple, light and healthful, perfect for afternoon tea or breakfast with tea or coffee.
A lot of thanks to Lisa and the Daring bakers for sharing with us some tips and recipes for quick breads.

Honey Buttermilk Oatmeal Coffee Cake

The honey mixture bakes at the bottom of the pan for this dessert. Then flip the finished cake over to reveal a sweet glaze on top.

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. light-colored corn syrup
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
Honey (optional)

Grease a  baking pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup melted butter, corn syrup, lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Pour into prepared pan; set aside.

For cake: In a blender or food processor, blend or process oats until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, 1/4 cup melted butter, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

Spoon batter evenly over honey mixture. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately invert cake onto a serving plate. Cool about 10 minutes. Serve warm drizzled with additional honey, if you like. Makes 9 servings.

A Tip From My Kitchen:

I learnt from Martha Stewart Very helpful tip about buttermilk.
When I buy a quart of buttermilk, I never need all of it. Luckily, it freezes well and is great to use later in pancakes, cakes, or marinades.