Last month I posted a review of Linda Collister's book Quick Breads. Since then, I've not bought a loaf of bread. I've been making loaves of quick-breads instead. Since that review, I've added the brown soda-bread variation to my repertoire with great success, and a properly done pumpernickel and fig loaf. I'm also planning to try the quick rye bread soon - I've got the ingredients. The only thing holding me off on this one is that it should be made the day before you want to use it. One of the draws to making my own breads is the wonderful taste and texture of the fresh, hot bread with real butter melting into it.
As well, I tried one of the quick breads from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything (the yellow edition) - an apple loaf. Tasty, but an entirely different texture. I don't know yet if all of the quick bread recipes in Bittman's book have the same texture, but I think so, given the descriptions of the method used in the book. He uses minimal mixing in order to retard the formation of gluten, making the texture of the loaf more like that of a pound cake rather than a true bread.
I've discovered that I prefer a more "bready" texture to the caky one in this latest attempt. Mostly because I want to use the bread with cheeses, meats and jams, all the same things you can do with "real" or yeast breads.
Really, I've got to figure out how to make yeast-breads successfully. I've tried it a few times, but had no successes to date. Until then, these soda breads and baking powder breads will do very well. They're certainly fun to make, and I look forward to each loaf being finished up because it means that I get to make another loaf.