Quick Bread Recipes That Rise To Any Occasion — Without Yeast

Want to bake bread, but don’t have the time or patience to deal with all that kneading and rising? Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst brings recipes and samples of quick breads for host Robin Young to try.

Cheese And Herb Bread

Not all breads need be sweet. This quick bread uses moist ricotta cheese, nutty Parmesan cheese, buttermilk and lots of fresh herbs. Serve the bread lightly toasted (it brings out the cheese and herb flavors) with salads and soups, or use as the basis for a grilled cheese sandwich, or any sandwich. Leftover bread makes a great savory bread pudding or cheesy, herby croutons.

The bread can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for several days, or wrapped and frozen for 3 months.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tightly packed cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons grated cheese for the topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, or 1 tablespoon, dried and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried and crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

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  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9-by-5-inch bread loaf pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, parsley, chives, rosemary, thyme and a generous grinding of pepper. Add the egg/cheese mixture to the flour mixture and, using a spatula, gently combine. Pour into the prepared pan and spread the dough out smoothly and evenly.
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 50 minutes. Remove and, using a pastry brush or the back of a kitchen spoon, brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. If the bread appears pale, place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese and give the bread a rich golden color. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  6. Remove and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove the bread and serve warm or at room temperature.

Banana-Ginger Bread

This is my adaptation of Boston baker Joanne Chang’s amazing banana bread recipe from her book, “Flour.” I use almond flour and white flour, added nutmeg and crystallized ginger and place a banana half on top of the bread to bake right into the loaf. Serve at room temperature with butter or cream cheese.

The bread will keep wrapped for three days or so, or can be tightly wrapped and frozen. Makes one 9-inch banana bread.


  • 3/4 cup pecans, almonds or walnut halves
  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2/3 cup almond flour or hazelnut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, cut into very thin slivers
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, plus 1 perfect banana
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9-by-5-inch bread loaf pan.
  3. Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted. Cool and coarsely chop; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix the flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and crystallized ginger; set aside.
  5. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the sugar and eggs for about 4 minutes on medium speed. On low speed, slowly add the oil, making sure it’s incorporated before adding more.
  6. Meanwhile, keep the best looking banana aside and peel and cut in half lengthwise. In a small bowl mash the 2 bananas plus the 1/2 sliced one (reserving only the one half of the good banana). Add the mashed banana to the mixture, the sour cream or yogurt and the vanilla, and mix thoroughly.
  7. Remove the bowl from the machine and using a spatula add the flour mixture and the toasted chopped nuts by hand, mixing well to incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently place the reserved banana half on top.
  8. Bake on the middle shelf for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the center springs back when you gently press on it. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before serving.

Double Chocolate Bread

This recipe originally appeared in my book, “Leftovers” (1991). This is a dessert-like bread made with cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate. It’s excellent served with softened butter (with a hot pot of tea or a strong cup of coffee) or it can be topped with whipped cream and seasonal fruit and served as dessert.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch bread loaf pan and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  4. In a mixer, or using a bowl and a whisk, beat the butter and sugar together for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each addition. Add the sifted flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream and chocolate pieces, beginning and ending with the dry flour mixture. The batter will be quite thick.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour or 1 hour and 15 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes on a cake rack and then remove.
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