3 Simple Rules for Turning Your Muffin Recipe into a Quick Bread

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Given the choice of muffins or quick bread, I’ll choose the bread every single time. Nothing against muffins, but I’m on team quick bread. There’s just something I love and find especially comforting about a warm, thick slice of bread.

This isn’t to say that I turn a blind eye to muffin recipes — not even close. In fact, some of my very favorite quick breads have been converted from muffin recipes.

Muffins and quick bread are essentially the same thing — just in a different form, and with slight differences in getting to the end result. Think of a muffin as a smaller, individually sized portion of quick bread.

1. Make sure there’s enough batter.

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your muffin recipe yields enough batter to make a quick bread. This part is crucial. Recipes that yield a dozen or more standard-size muffins are good candidates. Otherwise, scale up recipes that make less than that to ensure you have enough batter.

2. Bake quick bread at a lower temperature.

In order to get that lightly crisp exterior and lovely domed top, most muffin recipes call for baking at 375°F or 400°F, but this is a little too high for quick bread. Since it’s larger in volume and weight, those high temperatures will dry out the bread long before it’s baked through. Instead, preheat the oven to a temperature 25 degrees lower than your muffin recipe requires.

3. Extend the bake time for quick bread.

Since quick bread is larger in volume, it needs more time in the oven to bake properly. The exact time will vary from recipe to recipe, but will likely take 50 to 60 minutes. Start checking the bread around the 45-minute mark.

Using visual clues will also help you determine when your bread is ready to come out of the oven; look for a golden-brown top that springs back when touched. A toothpick inserted in the center of the bread should come out without any crumbs. And give your quick bread a chance to thoroughly cool. If you can manage, wrap the cooled bread in plastic wrap and let it sit out overnight at room temperature before slicing for the best texture and taste.