Years ago my mother-in-law asked me to help her bake quick breads for a fundraiser in Germantown. I baked twenty-two loaves in three mornings. It was a marathon baking session which I loved. Today, I’m doing good to get one loaf out of the oven. It seems the older we get the slower the mixer goes. Well, I can blame it on the mixer or the oven or anything else but the truth of the matter is that we just don’t eat as much bread as we used to.

We still love a hot biscuit with butter and jam. We go for muffins rather than loaves of fruited breads, dinner rolls rather than large yeast-scented loaves. Winter is the ideal time to bake yeast, quick or other kinds of bread; many of the ingredients are on sale during December.

Waffles are a bread we don’t think of as dinner or supper fare but made ahead and froze, they can be popped in the toaster for a sweet or savory bit of bread any time.

Even Martha White, those southern products on shelves since 1899, has wonderful ways with breads from just a couple of muffin mixes. So, don’t skip baking some hot bread just because you don’t eat as much as you used to. Small breads are just as tasty, take less time and energy and allow for more variety. Quick bread batters can be baked as muffins. Just adjust the time. Twenty-two loaves or a few muffins-winter is hot bread season.

Martha’s Special Scones
2 pkgs. Martha White Muffin Mix, any fruit flavor
6 tablespoons milk
¼ cup butter, melted
Sugar & softened butter
We found this easy recipe from Martha White years ago in a magazine. It works best with her muffin mixes. Place mixes in bowl. Add milk and melted butter. Stir to make a soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently into a 6-inch round. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cut into 8 wedges. Place on greased baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake 14-16 minutes at 400 degrees. Half cup of chopped nuts may be added. To serve, match jam with muffin flavor and have lots of butter on hand.

Pineapple Tea Bread

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8-oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x4 inch loaf pan. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add alternately with pineapple/juice. Mix just until blended. Over beating tends to make the bread tough. Pour into pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out on rack to cool completely. Can be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. A half cup of chopped pecans can be added.

Bacon & Chive Cornmeal Muffins

  • 2 pkg. (6.5 oz. each) Martha White Cornbread/muffin Mix
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • ½ cup cooked, crumbled, crisp bacon
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, milk or water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Empty cornbread mixes into bowl. Stir in chives and bacon. Add buttermilk and mix until batter forms. Divide into 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for about 16 minutes or until done tested with a toothpick. Serve hot with plenty of butter and syrup if you like.

Cathead Biscuits

  • 4 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ cup solid shortening
  • 1 ½ cups regular buttermilk
This recipe can be cut in half if need be. (2cups flour, 1/4 cup shortening and ¾ cup buttermilk.) Place flour in bowl, cut in shortening with fork, pastry blender or clean fingers. Add buttermilk all at once, stir only enough to form a soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface. Turn one or two times in flour. Do not knead or cut.
Pinch off portions of dough with floured hands. Form into large biscuits-the size of hamburger buns. Place on cookie sheet. Sides touching means soft-sided biscuits, placed apart means crisp-edged biscuits. Bake in 450 degree preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until raised, golden brown and done. Serve hot with butter, jelly, molasses or anything you enjoy on hot bread.

Strawberry Jam Bread

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves or jam
  • ½ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom of an 8x4 inch loaf pan. Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Mix preserves and buttermilk together. Add dry ingredients and wet alternately to the creamed mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Wrap and store in cool place overnight for easier slicing. A half cup of chopped nuts may be stirred into batter or sprinkled on top before baking if desired.

Rice Waffles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup cooked rice, cooled
In mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda. Make a well in the middle. Add sour cream, eggs and oil. Blend well. Add sugar and rice. Stir to incorporate. Bake on hot waffle iron. If not eating right away, bake waffles, cool completely on rack, wrap in wax paper and place in freezer bags in freezer. To eat, remove waffles, break into sections, pop frozen into toaster.
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