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5 No-Fail Quick Bread Recipes

If you have a craving for scones, blueberry muffins, Irish soda bread, and other easy quick breads, these recipes should satisfy and then some.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Scones

Serves 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

• 3 1/2 cup self-rising flour

• 1/3 cup butter, cut into cubes

• 1 1/3 cup milk, plus extra, for brushing

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

• jam, to serve

• whipped cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease and lightly flour a baking tray.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center. Stir in 1 cup of the milk using a flat-bladed knife until it forms into a dough, adding more milk as needed. Add vanilla.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly knead – don’t overmix or the scones will be tough. Gently press the dough out into a round about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out 12 scones. Place on the baking tray, 1/2 inch apart. Brush with a little milk and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm, with jam and cream.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Blueberry Muffins

Serves 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

• 2 cups self-rising flour

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

• 2 eggs

• 3/4 cup buttermilk

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

• 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Stir in the sugar until well combined. In a large jug, whisk together the butter, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture with the berries (or any extra flavorings below) and stir until just combined – don’t overbeat or the muffins will be tough.
3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Date and Walnut Loaf

Serves 6 to 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

• 1 1/2 cup chopped dates

• 3/4 cup soft brown sugar

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 egg, beaten

• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

• 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Imitation Vanilla Butter & Nut Flavor

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan, or grease and line it with greaseproof paper.
2. Combine the dates, sugar, butter and 1 cup water in a saucepan over a medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm.
3. Add the baking soda, egg and walnuts and mix well. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir until well combined. Add flavor if using. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan.
4. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a fine skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Chocolate Cherry Slice

Serves 24

Prep Time: 20 minutes, up to 1 hour setting

Cook Time: 5 minutes

• 9 ounces plain cookies (such as digestive biscuits)  
• 2/3 cup butter, melted

FILLING

• 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

• 2 3/4 cups (250 g) unsweetened shredded coconut

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Imitation Coconut Extract

• 3 cups finely chopped glacé cherries

• 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, melted

1. Line a 8×12 inch pan with baking paper.
2. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Combine the biscuit crumbs and melted butter and press evenly into the pan. Place the tin in the freezer while preparing the topping — this will make the biscuit base harden, so it will be easier to spread the topping over it.
3. Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Press the filling evenly over the biscuit base, using wet hands to smooth the surface.
4. To make the topping, melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until melted, then pour the mixture over the slice and spread evenly.
5. Set aside for up to 1 hour (depending on the weather) to harden. Cut into 2 inch squares using a hot knife. Store in airtight containers for up to 3 days.

Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Irish Soda Bread

Serves 4 to 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

• melted butter, for brushing

• 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 1/4 self-rising flour

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/3 cup butter, chopped

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

• 1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush a baking sheet with melted butter.
2. Sift the flours, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour. Stir in the sugar, then make a well in the center.
3. Whisk the buttermilk and egg separately. Reserving 2 tablespoons for glazing, add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a flat-bladed knife until the dough comes together.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Form into a 8-inch round and place on the baking tray.
5. Cut a deep cross into the top of the bread. Brush with the reserved buttermilk mixture. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest