1. Choose a Flavor
Prepare 1 cup fruit or vegetables (one kind).
- Pear, shredded and squeezed dry
- Apple, shredded and squeezed dry
- Banana, mashed
- Carrot, shredded
- Zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
2. Pick Your Mix-Ins
Choose up to 1 3/4 cups total of the following ingredients (use no more than 3/4 cup nuts). Toast and chop any nuts; chop any large dried fruit.
- Dried cherries
- Dried cranberries
- Dried currants
- Dried figs
- Dried apricots
- Pitted dried dates
- Rolled oats
- Chocolate chips
- Sweetened shredded coconut
3. Prepare the Pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or three 6-by-3-inch mini pans.
4. Make the Batter
Mix 1 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and salt, and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl; add your dry mix-ins (from step 2). In a medium bowl, whisk 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cooled melted butter or vegetable oil, 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon citrus zest (optional). Stir your fruit or vegetables (from step 1) into the egg mixture, then fold into the dry mixture until just combined.
5. Bake the Loaf
Spread the batter in the prepared pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes for a standard loaf, 35 to 40 minutes for mini loaves. Cool 30 minutes in the pan(s) on a rack, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
6. Make a Glaze
Prepare a glaze, pour on the cooled bread and let set, 15 to 20 minutes.
Chocolate: Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
Vanilla Bean: Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and the seeds from 1 vanilla bean.
Brown Butter: Brown 3 tablespoons butter over low heat; cool slightly. Whisk with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Use immediately.
Citrus: Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon each milk and citrus juice, and 1 teaspoon citrus zest.
Cream Cheese: Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Make these in advance: You can store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Design your own quick bread, or try one of our ideas:
- Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Chocolate Glaze
- Carrot Bread with Hazelnuts, Coconut and Cream Cheese Glaze
- Zucchini Bread with Dried Cranberries and Vanilla Bean Glaze
Photographs by Charles Masters