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How To Can Bread. Quick Breads That Is.

>6 January 2011
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how to can quick breads

Word of Caution: Some people have expressed a concern over the risk of botulism when canning bread. To play it safe, please consider storing your canned bread in the fridge until ready to use.

I am SO super excited about learning how to can bread!! I’ve seen bread in jars as gift ideas before, but when I read an article on Lehman’s Country Life stating that these breads will keep for up to a YEAR, I knew I had to give it a try.

Imagine being able to pull a fresh tasting jar of quick bread straight off your shelf any time you want it!! What a great convenience food to stock your kitchen with, especially if you have hungry kids or unexpected guests!

And the very best part of it… you don’t even have to have a canner! Anybody can do this. All you need is your jars, lids, and an oven.

Okay, so here’s how to can quick bread:

1. Get 8 clean wide-mouth pint size canning jars and lids. They don’t have to be hot like usual, just clean.

2. In a large bowl, mix up your favorite quick bread recipe as usual (banana bread, zucchini bread, apple bread, etc). I used my favorite Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe, substituting 2/3 c. shortening for the 1 cup of vegetable oil it normally calls for.

3. Grease your jars with shortening, all the way around the inside.

4. Pour the bread mix into the jars, filling them halfway. DO NOT OVERFILL.

5. Bake the bread in the jars (WITHOUT lids on) at 325* for 45 min. Test one with a toothpick to make sure they are completely cooked before removing the jars from the oven.

6. When done, wipe the rims with a wet cloth and quickly screw the lids on.

As the jars cool, the lids will seal and keep your bread as fresh as the day you made it. Although, I haven’t exactly had a chance to taste any after letting them sit for several months. Ours only lasted three days before the husband and kids broke into them!

I’m thinking I’ll bake a bunch of these to have on hand for after this baby is born. Last time I prepared for baby’s birth by doing a bunch of freezer cooking. This year I’d like to stock our pantry with convenience foods in jars. And the way my kids snack, this is definitely a keeper!!

Have you ever made quick breads in a jar? What’s your favorite recipe?

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58 Comments »

  • april said:

    This is so great but I am scared to try it. Lol. I might just have to though because that would be SO great to have on hand especially for breakfast and snacks. LOVE your blog.

  • Heidi said:

    Yes, please tell us if they *stay* good! ~grin~

  • sandra said:

    this sounds like canning even I can do! did you stand the jars on a cookie sheet in the oven? Ive never looked at the Lehmans site before, but the other bread variations they list sound good too.

  • Pam W. said:

    What a neat way to do bread–I wasn’t familiar with that! Also, thanks for the link the Lehman’s blog. I was very familiar with Lehman’s store but wasn’t aware there was a blog, too.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Sandra,

    No cookie sheet, the jars just sit directly on the oven rack.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    April,

    LOL, what are you scared of? Try it!!

  • DeNiece said:

    Kendra I love it. I think it is a wonderful idea. I will hopefully trying it this weekend and just maybe I can get the children involved with helping me lol. My family loves pumpkin bread, and some of the ones you mentioned above, so I will also be visited the Lehmans website to get more ideas. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  • Jessica K. said:

    Oooh WONDERFUL! This is excellent because I was planning on making banana bread today and it would make it SO much easier for my husband when he’s home with the kids after this baby is born. Instant snack! I’m going to have to try this instead of traditional banana bread!

  • april said:

    I guess I am just worried about biting into bread that has gone bad. lol Which is crazy cause I am sure I would be able to tell it was bad before eating it. It took me a while to eat the blueberry and plum jelly my friend and I canned last summer. But I did get over it so I am definitely going to try this. I have heard stories about badly processed food making people sick so I lean on the side of caution. I did text one of my friends last night and tell her that we have to get together and try these though.:)

  • Dana said:

    I have thought about doing this before,just never have, and ya know what my thought was? Christmas gifts!! Since they keep for up to a year you could make a bunch of these say in October before the holiday craziness gets out of control then come christmas time, pack up a basket with hm goodies and you have a great gift!!

    Thanks for reminding me!!!

    Dana

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    April,

    That’s understandable. When I first started canning, I was pretty leery about eating the stuff, too. I think we are so conditioned as a society to rely upon the government to “test” food before it’s processed, we worry about doing stuff ourselves. But how many times have people gotten sick from processed canned foods that were supposed to be tested and safe? How many recalls have we heard from big food producers. In the end, I truly believe home canned stuff is much safer than anything we can get from the grocery store. Just follow basic safety and cleanliness, and you’ll be fine :)

    Yes, you’d be able to tell if the food was bad before even biting into it. If the lid comes off of the jar easily, don’t eat it. If the lid is swelled, don’t eat it. If the food smells funny, or has something growing on it, don’t eat it. It’s pretty common sense. And I’d try to eat it before it’s sat for a year, just to be safe.

    Happy canning!!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Jessica,

    Please let me know how the banana bread turns out!!

  • Sophie said:

    This sounds great, but Kendra, I am a little surprised that you use shortenning, isn’t it full of trans-fat?

  • rachel said:

    Also, is there a reason you substituted the shortening for the oil? Does it help in the cooking process or did you just prefer shortening on the day you made it. Thanks.

  • Shaye @ The Elliott Homestead said:

    Kendra,

    This is the coolest thing ever. I’m going to give it a try this weekend – I am picking up some canned pumpkin today! Yay! Sounds like the perfect project to try this weekend.

    I am picking up 50 lbs. of wheat berries today as well, to start grinding my own flour! Can hardly wait to try out the new grain grinder.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

  • Janice Jewett said:

    This is so cool, I thought I’d tried everything guess that shows there is always something to learn. Thank you Janice

  • Emily the Harried Homemaker said:

    This is what the National Center for Home Food Preservation says about this technique:

    Can I can bread or cake in a jar?

    These products are not recommended for canning; choose recipes that you can freeze. In fact, most of these products are not really “canned.” The directions call for baking in the jar and then closing with a canning lid. Many recipes for quick breads and cakes are low-acid and have the potential for supporting the growth of a bacteria like Clostridium botulinum if it is present inside the closed jar. One university’s research showed a high potential for problems. You will see these products made commercially; however, additives, preservatives and processing controls not available for home recipes are used. Canning jar manufacturers also don’t endorse baking in their canning jars.

    ——–

    This is not a technique I feel comfortable with. Better safe than sorry.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Rachel,

    I substituted the shortening for the oil ’cause the recipe on Lehman’s uses shortening, and I wasn’t sure if the oil would be okay canned or not. Just being safe ;)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Sophie,

    In all honesty, I pay no attention to trans-fat. I use shortening all the time. But I just checked the label, and there is NO trans-fat in Crisco shortening :)

  • Caroline said:

    I had read it was not recommended as well. I asked a scientist once why more things were not recommended that used to be in the old days. She said that like some diseases, many of the food poisons have evolved into new generations that are more deadly or we haven’t developed immunities to yet. On the other hand, while food poisoning can be deadly, usually to someone with a compromised immune system, it almost never comes to that. Most people may get a little intestinal distress, and many people get no symptoms at all. Could be that people who aren’t as careful as the USDA develop more immunities than those that eat only commercially processed food. I don’t worry about the dates on most any commercially prepared food, but I generally avoid preserving techniques that might waste my ingredients and time. Quick breads are so easy and fast to make I would just make up the dry mixes and keep some pureed fruit in the freezer. For unexpected company I would stick to homemade frozen cookie dough rolls, 12 min to bake and make the house smell good too.

  • Kimberly said:

    it really does work. i made apple cakes and squash bread like that fall 09 and they are still fine!

  • Jill said:

    I am stunned! I never thought of doing this but I will try it. In building up my store of emergency goods, I’ve often thought that we’d miss many of the luxuries (like dessert) in a disaster. This is a great way to preserve a treat for the tough times.

    I agree with Caroline somewhat, in that, if you have a tainted item, your body will tell you so with a little tummyache or something similar. Unless your family has compromised immune systems or are prone to sickness, don’t let fear stop you from trying this type of self-sufficiency. That fear is just the commerical food industry and our Big Brother governement trying to get you to doubt yourself.

    In this case: IT’S BREAD. Bread spoils by molding. I’m sure you’ll spot moldy bread once you open the can.

  • Ashley C said:

    Ive been told to avoid doing this due to safety issues etc…but Im still eager to try it!!! LOL if it works out it would be really fantastic to send in care packages when my husband (or our friends!) deploys and misses his desserts! lol and for holiday gifts too! Id probably make it with coconut oil or something though(Ive got like a gallon+ anyhow!), shortening is no longer a friend in my house due to hydrogenation/processing/soy in it :/ although…I do have a stick of it left in the cupboard that Im hesistant to toss (hate to waste!) so I might just put it to use here at least for greasing! LOL

    I also like that you mention prepping for baby’s arrival. Im due in May so itd be a perfect addition to my other canned/frozen goods, one less thing to stress over plus it provides a little luxury! :)

  • Lanna said:

    I’m curious as to how long they’ll last before growing something or whatnot in the pantry… a friend of mine’s daughter said something about her inversion-sealed grape juice getting fuzzy a few months after the fact, so I’m not 100% sold on that method…
    Pretty much everything I process is for at least a year, or five. So it’s all water-bath or pressure canned, with dry spice/baking mixes/ingredients all ready to go on the pantry shelves.

  • april said:

    I am happy to report that I made them today. I was going to do the pumpkin but I didn’t have any so I ended up doing the cranberry ones. They smelled so good and my neighbor and I got all giddy when the jars started sealing. lol

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    April,

    Yay!! Glad you gave it a shot :)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Thanks for letting us know that they do last that long, Kimberly!! It’s good to hear from somebody who’s been doing this and knows for sure :)

  • Leigh said:

    Kendra, thank you for this! It’s a great idea and a perfect addition to any pantry.

  • Jessica K. said:

    We haven’t eaten any of the banana bread yet, but they are sitting there waiting :) I’ll let you know how they are! I don’t think they will last a whole year in the pantry though! (We’ll eat them first!)

  • Lanie said:

    I made the pumpkin and the banana. They are great. I hope they’ll last up to a year…but with the way my family is gobbling them up, we’ll never know!

  • Shannon said:

    I love this idea! I am definitely going to try this to have after-school snacks on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  • cynthia said:

    One year I made rum cake in jars like this and decorated them up for Christmas gifts. They were a great hit! I did manage to save a few for about a year and they were just as good as when fresh. A very good item to have on hand when unexpected guest drop in and there is no time to bake a treat.

  • Izzy said:

    I love,love to can. I’ve tried canning just about everything you can think of.However I thought I’d warn that canning bread is considered unsafe.Here is a case study from the Utah Ag.extension office [PDF]
    SAFETY OF CANNING QUICK BREADS
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    Products such as zucchini bread are baked in wide rimmed canning jars and covered with lids and rings immediately after removing from the oven. …
    extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/FN-FS_250_10.pdf – Similar

  • Pam W. said:

    Kendra,
    As Izzy said above, this method is NOT safe.

    “The problem with this is that the final system is anaerobic (no oxygen), and has both the pH and available moisture in the right range for the growth of C. botulinum. The product has the
    potential to cause botulism poisoning and kill or seriously impair the person eating the bread. C. botulinum is found in soil throughout the world. The cleaning and processing of the ingredients that are used in bread would decrease its likelihood of being present, but by no means insure that it is not present. For example, it could be introduced into the batter by being in honey, on grated zucchini, or dust in the mixing bowl. Although no cases of botulism have been identified as being caused specifically by a home canned quick bread, the potential is there. The product meets all the necessary criteria for the organism to grow.”

    So as you can see, all the conditions necessary for botulism to grow are present in the jars of bread when they are processed by this method. Botulism can be fatal. Here is the link to the entire document if you want to read it in full: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/FN-FS_250_10.pdf

    Please make and store dry mixes or make and freeze the bread. The people who’ve submitted comments saying they’ve tried this have been very lucky so far. It’s not worth risking you and your children’s health over.

  • Pam W. said:

    P.S. There are other sights also that support the same safety information. One does say that if you really want to bake the bread in the jars, you should do the following as far as storing them goes:

    “Some cakes or breads prepared in this manner have shown a water activity of 0.93 and a pH of 7.2. Harmful bacteria can grow under these conditions. Furthermore, the oxygen-free environment due to the vacuum seal is ideal for the growth of Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. Therefore, baking bread or cake in a canning jar and storing it at room temperature is not a safe practice.
    If breads or cakes are baked in canning jars, seal them after they are completely cooled (rather than when they are hot right out of the oven) so that a vacuum seal is not created. This will prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Also, immediately refrigerate. Refrigeration temperatures will prevent the growth of other harmful bacteria that can grow at the water activity and pH typically found in these types of products. The shelf-life in the refrigerator is several weeks.”

    Please don’t take offense at my comments–I’m just concerned that you and your family are safe, especially when you have little ones. :)

  • Izzy said:

    I was thinking of safety too when I posted. I also hope my comments weren’t taken in offense. I love reading your Blog!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Pam,

    Thank you for your concern. I wonder what they mean by “seal them after they are completely cooled”. How would you seal them if not with a vacuum seal?

  • Pam W. said:

    Kendra, I think they are saying that because it’s the vacuum seal that actually creates the conditions for the botulism to grow on these types of breads, you want to avoid actually sealing them. They should have stated to just “put on the lids” after they are cool, since you are not really sealing them. Then the closed jars have to be refrigerated rather than just put on a shelf. At least it does state that they will keep for several weeks like this in the refrigerator, so still something that you could make ahead and keep on hand.

  • Pam W. said:

    …and now I’m going to have to thaw some of the shredded zucchini in my freezer–all this talk has put my in the mood to make zucchini bread, lol! :)

  • Canadian Doomer said:

    My husband jokes that I’ll can anything that isn’t moving (too quickly), but I don’t feel safe doing “canned” bread. As others have said, it has all of the requirements for botulism creation. Not to mention that “oven canning” is unsafe for anything. The temperature in the bread wouldn’t come anywhere near close enough, for long enough, to kill any botulism.

    And botulism does not make food look or smell spoiled, even though it’s potentially deadly.

    I think it’s a lot easier and safer to just store all the ingredients. The zucchini, banana, apple, etc. can all be dehydrated, for example.

  • Kristi said:

    Thank you so much for putting the update on this recipe. Canning breads is definitely not recommended due to safety reasons. However, processing it and storing it in the refrigerator is a great idea. It looks delicous! :)

    Thanks for encouraging the people who visit your website to be safe…botulism is a deadly and horrible disease — definitely not something to mess with.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog…I really enjoy it!

  • patricia daniels said:

    I can bread , and it is very good just make sure it seals and after you open it put lid back on and refrigerat .

  • sista said:

    I am going to give this a try. You can buy canned brown bread at the store to go with baked beans. It is sweet and contains molasses and has never made me sick so I can do it too. As long as everything is clean and sterile and the vegis have been washed (which I do anyway). Thanks Kendra

  • Im A LIVE said:

    My family is still alive and well just finished eating the last jar of Banana, Pumpkin, & Cranberry Bread in a Jar that I made in October 2011, This year im adding the carrott and apple to our pantry along with all the above, Im also trying the pie in a jar and maybe the cupcake in a jar not so sure I would do the salad in a jar but who knows. Yes use a cookie sheet and leave them in the oven only taking out one at a time to lid it and while your working on the second one you may hear the first ones seal pop sealing the jar. The cookie sheet makes it easy to pull the jars out one at a time.

    Enjoy and eat the whole jar of bread right after opening remember there is more in the pantry to eat before the year is up.

  • Nancy said:

    Hello, I just found a lot of jar cake and bread recipes and was wondering how long they would store. I googled it and the info I got was to cap and ring them and then only store them in the fridge. Here is a link to one site, it looked credible. So I will not do these for long term storage, as it could a dangerous practice. the recipes are great for short term gifting. thanks

    ;

    Looks like you’ll have to copy / paste this link.

  • Nancy said:

    Looks like the issue of food saftey is already the comments, so my first comment is null and void. I should have known you would take care of saftey. Thanks again.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Thanks for the comment, Nancy!!

  • Stacey said:

    Just looking for an update,I have yet to try this. Wondering how long you’ve been able to store the canned breads with success? Thanks, friend!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Stacey,

    Honestly, as much as my kids love this stuff, I haven’t had it on my shelves for longer than two weeks, lol.

  • Stacey said:

    I’m planning on trying some up today…I’ve got frozen bananas coming out my ears! Better to turn it into bread on my shelves rather than let it go bad in my freezer should we lose power…although in my neck of the woods everything is frozen solid & holding steady at 9*…. *sigh*

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Oh wow, Stacey. Brrrrr!

  • Tracy said:

    My daughter and I are making these for a craft festival November 9th. We want to start baking these in October but know people will want to buy for Christmas as well. Do you think they will last that long????

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Tracy,

    They’d probably be fine for 2 months. If you want to be safe store them in the fridge, though.

  • Mary said:

    Read the extension service articles from Utah State University. These breads are not recommended to be safe and are discouraged from making them and eating them.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Mary,

    They aren’t shelf stable, but in the fridge they’re fine for several weeks. :)

  • Cindi said:

    I have been canning quick breads for years!! They stay good and fresh for about 6 months and then start to get a bit dried out but are still edible..when this happens we just slice and toast, add butter and eat…still very doable. Try it…you will see that it is a good way to have something quick for unexpected company and awesome in a gift basket!

  • Mary Handy said:

    To those of you who have done this before and had it successfully: What temperature did you cook the bread? What kind of bread did you do? How did you store (temperature)? How long did it last?

    I really want to do it! I read an article about it that recommended not doing it. They quoted a study that tested the bread periodically for botulism. However, room temperature bread was fine for 90 days and bread stored at 95 degrees Fahrenheit spoiled quickly by botulism. I don’t know why they quoted the study and concluded with something that had no evidence. Sorry. I’m a student actively engaged in exercise research, so I really like to critique articles :)

    Those who had a bad experience: Please share as well!

  • Avril MacNaughton said:

    I am new to canning and started to see comments on a variety of feeds about botulism and the risks.I like that Mary Handy quotes some research on the risks of these kinds of breads. Yes there was a quite large increase in the risk if the products were stored at 95 deg F. But who in the canning fraternity stores their canned goods at that sort of temperature. Most will have a basement or cool cupboard where the temp is kept very much lower.

    I also came across this research from the Federation of American scientists ( http://www.fas.org/programs/bio/factsheets/botulinumfactsheet.html. ) which says the number of cases annually in the US is about 140. Of these only 1-3 die. they also say that most are infant botulism caused by consuming honey and less than a quarter by canning.

    While we need to be aware that there is a small potential for this problem I think some sensible precautions will be sufficient to keep the risk extremely low. How many people die annually from getting hit by a car or in gun related incidents or from various forms of cancer for example. We need to keep this in perspective and maintain these important skills.

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