Amish Friendship Bread- An Oven Baked Chain Letter of Good Will

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So I've found as I've started doing more research to try to keep my challenge alive that there are a lot of different types of bread I can make easily by using my bread machine as essentially a poor man's stand mixer. Throw in your ingredients. hit the dough cycle, and then form bread as you would any bread. Not having a kitchenaide mixer myself, I find this idea about the bread machine fascinating.... Especially with how many people I've known who have mixers and don't really know how to use them. Don't get me wrong, a kitchenaide can be a great tool, and they have some awesome attachments. Yet I can make some of the same things by throwing them in my bread machine and let it do the mixing for me? Heck yeah!

So in the coming weeks in between loaves, I think I might experiment with a few of these recipes. I think for the time being, I'm not going to count them towards my 52 loaves as they're not cooked in the breadmachine itself, and that means more dishes in a home without a dishwasher. Stay tuned for more of these....

In the meantime, until we get to next weeks loaf (Which happens to be mixing as we speak. In the room right now it's a combination of bread machine grumbles and the sound of the boy playing Super Hula Hoop) I thought I'd share another creation with you called the Amish Friendship loaf.

The starter was passed to me by my neighbors who with all the best intentions passed it along. The first clue was that the recipe included a box of jello pudding mix. "I don't know what's amish about jello pudding, but it should be tasty" my neighbor said with a smile. Sounds like fun, I'll give it a try.

For 10 days I followed the recipe for the starter. I mushed the bag... mushed the bag... etc. Day 10 came along, baking day! Whoo hoo, a Sunday to boot!

I started reading the recipe... milk... oil..vanilla.... a CUP of sugar? What bread has a CUP of sugar? A sweet bread, that's what! I think we might call this cake dear friend!

Well I'm already elbow deep in it...and we have all the ingredients... and I've been mushing the bag in anticipation for 10 days... and I already made a HUGE mess portioning out the starter into portions. The recipe claimed not to use metal anything... In hindsight I should have said that's a load of phoey, but instead I mixed it up in my pretty glass salad bowl... I felt like a fool mixing it in my glass salad bowl, but I did. Don't judge, you would have too!

So I finished the recipe... wait, 2 loaves? How much does this make? I only have one loaf pan! So I carefully dusted the pan with more cinnamon sugar, split the dough, more cinnamon sugar on top, and baked.

It.... smelled... heavenly. I think I gained 10 pounds just smelling it. One taste and I quickly realized it was very tasty, and there was no way I could keep it in the house and keep my other new years resolutions of trying to eat more in moderation. (Yes I realize a bread blog resolution and an eat in moderation resolution may be just a wee bit contradictory.)  So I packaged up a loaf and took it to friends, and the other loaf was sliced and taken to work.... and somehow I managed to only eat one piece. (score, kept both of my new years resolutions! 21 days to make a habit, bam!)

The folks at work seemed to enjoy it, I got several compliments on it. I assume the friends did as well...So if you're looking for a really sweet breakfast cake... or just to torment your friends with lots of cake and a smidgen of guilt you've found your recipe.

Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread
Important Tips:
  • Do not use a metal bowl or spoon for mixing (see my note about this below)
  • Do not refrigerate.
  • It is normal for batter to thicken, bubble, or ferment
  • You may need to open the bag to release some of the gas
Day 1: You receive the fermented batter in a 1 gallon ziploc bag. Do Nothing. Just place the bag on the kitchen counter.
Day 2: Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 3: Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4: Add 1 c. of flour, 1 c. of sugar, 1 c. of milk. Squeeze bag.
Day 5: Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6: Add 1 c. each flour, sugar, and milk. Squeeze bag.
Day 7: Squeeze bag several times.
Day 8: Squeeze bag several times.
Day 9: Squeeze bag several times.
Day 10: In a large, non-metal bowl, combine batter with 1 c. each flour, sugar, and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon. Pour four 1-cup starters into individual gallon ziploc bags. Give away starters to friends with this set of directions. It is important to follow this sequence exactly.
To the remaining batter add:
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 t. cinnamon
In separate bowl, mix 1 t. cinnamon and 3 T. sugar. Sprinkle into well-greased loaf pans and coat the sides with sugar mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until done.

To add to the mystic, the paper claimed only the amish know the deep dark secret to making this starter. Some internet research confirms that's phooey. If you'd like to make your own starter simply imply put 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. milk, and 1 T. yeast in a gallon ziploc bag and let it sit on the counter. Call that day 1, and you’re good to go.

I apologize I took no pictures of this bread. If you'd like to see what it looked like check out a version of Amish Friendship Bread here. 'Cept that one got a little fancy and included raisins... which I now wish I had done.


Aimee said...

Glad to see this is still around and that it turned out dangerously tasty.

Tom and Denise Kennedy said...

Wait! Who were the "friends" that got the bread. I didn't get bread. I want bread. Oh - I'm having it tomorrow, aren't I?? See you tomorrow!

Urban Breadmachine said...

@ Denise I have no more bread, but I can bring you starter so you can make some. Want some? I was going to bring starter to the meeting... and then their was no meeting.

@ Aimee It was indeed.... even better when I spread the friendship and don't eat a loaf myself! Ha!

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