By popular request, here is the step-by-step method for baking these wonderful holiday gifts – or keep them in the pantry for yourself!
Use pint size canning jars – with wide mouth, NO SHOULDERS – and new, 2 piece lids. DO NOT USE RECYCLED MAYONNAISE OR OTHER JARS – USE CANNING JARS ONLY. Best are jars slightly wider at top than bottom (if you can find them.) Sterilize the jars in boiling water.
Place the lids in boiled water (used to sterilize the jars) to sterilize the lids, but do not boil them further (see manufacturer’s instructions on the box of lids).
Grease the insides (but not the rims) of the jars WELL.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees – 325 is okay, if your recipe calls for a lower temperature.
Fill the jars 1/2 full with any quick bread batter (that is 1 cup of batter only, per jar – or it may overflow the jar when rising).
Place the filled jars on a cookie sheet, spaced apart.
Bake WITHOUT lids for 25 minutes or until the bread rises and pulls away from the sides of the jars slightly. COOK’S NOTE: Some recipes require a longer cooking time; test the bread for doneness by inserting a thin skewer deeply into the center of the bread. When withdrawn, the skewer should be clean – and no wet batter should cling to it. If the skewer is wet, return the bread to the oven for a few more minutes, until the bread tests “done.”
Remove 1 jar at a time from the oven.
Wipe its rim well, then firmly screw on a new 2-piece lid (you’ll hear a “ping” very soon).
Allow the sealed jars to cool on a counter, away from drafts.
When a vacuum seal forms, lid will suck downward in center (allow up to 24 hours), refrigerate the jarred bread if a seal doesn’t form.
Store vacuum-sealed jars in the pantry – they should be in a cool, dark, dry place. Vacuum sealed breads will keep up to 1 year in a cool pantry.
Spark: Tie a piece of fabric over the lid with colorful ribbon, for a great holiday gift!