Quick breads should be exactly that, quick. Any idiot can make these things. You’re not an idiot, are you? No, you’re smart, funny, and exceptionally good looking, which is why people never hesitate to eat your quick bread, and feel as if it’s an honor to do so. You’re likely just reading this to confirm how good you are at making quick bread. While “quick” is on point, the “bread” part is iffy. In most cases, breads are leavened with yeast, and are not too sweet. Quick breads, on the other hand, are chemically leavened and plenty sweet. In fact, they’re cake. Seriously, it’s just cake in a loaf pan. But you knew that already, didn’t you? 

Go grab a recipe for quick bread—whatever you’re in the mood for— and let’s go over some quick tips for the most popular types of quick breads:

Banana

Common knowledge says you should be using ultra-ripe, spotted bananas. This is not necessary, so you fear not if your bananas aren’t there yet. As long as it’s not on the green side, any banana makes a great banana bread. 

Apple/Pear

All that extra liquid coming out while you shred your fruit is no bueno for a good bread. Put the fruit in a strainer and gently press the excess out, and measure the now-drained fruit as instructed. Pour the leftover juice and drink it. It’s delicious.

Carrot

While you don’t want excess liquid in your recipe, you need some liquid. This is why you cannot use pre-grated carrots for bread unless you want incredibly disappointing bread. Do this by hand, always.

Nuts

Even though they’ll be baked in the bread, their cozy cocoon of batter won’t allow them to get hot enough to toast to the point where their flavor will be at the apex of its potential. Give ‘em a quick toast beforehand, OK? And let them cool completely before you stir them in. 

Oil

For the love of all that is holy, if you haven’t learned the lesson that not all oils are the same, please learn it now. Unless you’re making something that specifically calls for a certain type, like olive oil, use a neutral oil with absolutely no flavor. Canola, grapeseed, and vegetable are all good choices. In fact, make those your only choices unless your recipe says otherwise. We recipe writers of the world work hard at what we do, so trust us. We’re that good. 

Now let's cook:

You can do this in a mixer, but it’s just as easy to do by hand if you’re up to it. With a big wooden spoon, mix up your fruit with your sugars until it’s smooth. It’ll draw out all the natural liquids of your fruit and end up looking like a very expensive cat food. That is actually the most accurate description for this situation.

Next, in a different bowl, whisk your eggs until they’re 100 percent smooth, then mix in the oil. Pour it into the fruit, and stir until combined.

Sift your flour, leavening and spices together, and dump all of it into the bowl. Stir until just combined. Don’t keep stirring after it comes together. If you’ve ever had really gummy bread, it’s because whoever made it kept stirring excessively when there was no need. Stop right now.

Bake is directed, and contain yourself for at least 10 minutes before you dive in. If you can manage to hold out even longer, you’ll learn that quick breads tend to get better the next day. Maybe make yourself two or three, just to be safe.