Baking quick breads in mini loaf pans is a fun alternative to the traditional 9-by-5 bread loaf pan. Making mini loaves as gifts for the holidays, individual servings for brunch or for a bake sale is a great way to use prepackaged quick bread mixes. Figuring out how to bake smaller amounts of quick bread dough in mini loaf pans takes some preparation and few adjustments to the baking time.
Prepare the quick bread dough. Follow instructions on the prepackaged mix or in the cookbook as directed for a standard 9-by-5 bread loaf pan. Preheat the oven to the recommended temperature in the recipe. Adjustments will be made to the baking times, not temperature, when baking in mini loaf pans.
Use a cookie sheet with a lip. Line the cookie sheet with the mini loaf pans. Stagger the pans at least 1 inch apart so hot air can flow around each loaf pan. Depending on the size of the loaf pans, the cookie sheet will hold three or more mini loaf pans.
Measure one of the mini loaf pans by filling it with water, then emptying the water into a measuring cup. Spray each mini loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Measure the quick bread dough for each mini loaf pan. Measure 3/4 cup of dough for a mini loaf pan that holds approximately 1 cup. Use 1/3 cup of dough for a 1/2 cup sized mini loaf pan.
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Put the cookie sheet and filled mini loaf pans in the oven on the middle rack. Reduce the baking time by 1/4 when using mini loaf pans. For example, a recipe that bakes a quick bread 9-by-5 loaf for 40 minutes should bake for 30 minutes when divided into mini loaf pans.
Check the mini loaves during baking. Cracking down the middle, firmness and browning are all signs that the loaves are done. Insert a toothpick in two areas near the center of the loaves to check for moist dough. When the toothpick comes out clean, that individual mini loaf is done baking.
Cool the mini loaf pans on an elevated cooling rack. Allow room temperature air to flow around the base of the pans to cool the loaves. When the loaves are slightly warm to the touch, use a butter knife around the edges of the pans to loosen the loaves. Gently turn the pans to the side and remove the loaves.
Grease only the bottom of the mini loaf pan to reduce baking over the edges of the pan. Place a tent of aluminum foil over the loaves if they brown too quickly.
Angela Tague writes marketing content and journalistic pieces for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.