Monday, March 2, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread Coming out of my Ears

I did it to myself of course...I could have said no. But I'd never do that..of course not. I am a friend, so I accept friendship bread when offered. And it's tasty, no doubt! But what happens when you have mushed and fed and had your babies? I pawned one of the babies off. But I was stuck with 3 to babysit for another cycle. To be honest I didn't even try to give those away. The bread had made its spin through the office and nearly everyone else I know is babysitting bread as well (at least those that can be trusted with bread babies). So when those three bags of starter came of age what was I left with? Do the math...12..yes 12 more babies. Actually 15 if you count the batter that I was supposed to bake with. I know, I could throw them away, but you're talking about a person that buys half dead plants off the clearance rack in August. I just can't do that! So I did the next best thing...spent a couple of hours on the internet looking for something to do with all those babies. I really learned a lot. There are some great sites/blogs out there devoted to Amish Friendship Bread and it's many variations. Here is one I especially liked and this one too. Here are the most important things I gathered:

1. There are 1000s of flavor combinations to improve upon the recipe given with the instructions.

2. The starters can be frozen/refrigerated to either restart the cycle later or to use as batter in those 1000s of recipes mentioned above.

3. The end product doesn't have to be cake! I even found a pizza dough recipe using starter.

So far I've used 5 of my 15 starters. The rest are sleeping in the freezer. I had one failed experiment...the lemon poppy seed variation I 'invented". I am not sure what happened, but it was scary! But these three were successes and will certainly be tried again.

First up...Almond Joy Amish Friendship Bread

Follow the Amish Friendship Recipe that comes on your instruction sheet but substitute almond for vanilla extract, substitute instant chocolate pudding for instant vanilla pudding, add 2 Tablespoons of cocoa, 1 tablespoon of espresso powder, 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds and 1 cup coconut. I'd cook a little bit longer than called for due to these added ingredients. I made mine in a bundt pan instead of loaf pans.

This is the instructions that came with my starter:
day 1:
Do nothing with the starter.
days 2-5:
Squish the bag.
day 6:
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.
days 7-9:
Squish the bag.
Day 10:
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 - (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup nuts
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

So moving on from the ordinary to a couple of not so ordinary variations.

How about Amish Friendship Cornbread? This was moist, almost spoonbreadish.

1 cup Amish batter *
2 eggs
1-1/2 c. milk
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 c. cornmeal
Combine in large bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
1/4 cup oil
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Mix well. Pour in well-greased 9" pan. Bake at 425 degreesF 25-30 minutes. (I added 1 can of drained corn, 1 cup of shredded cheddar 1 can of green chiles, & 1 can of jalapenos and cooked for about 10 minutes more at about 375° - check for doneness.)

And favorite of the bunch Amish Friendship Pancakes!

Combine in large bowl:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Combine in smaller bowl:
2 TBS oil
2 cups Amish batter
1/2 cup milk (plus/minus 1/4 cup)
1 egg
Add ingredients of smaller bowl to ingredients of large bowl and mix on medium speed.
Spoon batter onto greased griddle.
For Waffles: Prepare batter for pancakes except increase oil to 1/4 cup.

If you ever feel the need to start this cycle yourself there is a recipe for making the starter yourself. It so simple it's not even funny. So never ever feel sorry about breaking the bread chain again! Simply put 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. milk, and 1 T. yeast in a ziploc bag and let it sit on the counter. Call that Day 1, and you’re good to go.


Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

Suzy, you are a true friend! Wow, what a large family you have taken on :-)

I've never made the Amish Friendship pancakes, but will now. Congrats on FG!!

Sara said...

Everything looks delicious, I've actually never made this bread before!

OK Chick said...

WOW thanks for these suggestions. I was just given a starter a few weeks ago. My baby grew up on Friday, and we've been eating the bread since then. Now I have four starters in my freezer.
It had made the rounds in my office(twice), so I knew I couldn't bring it to work. I decided to just freeze and make them as I please. I can't wait to use these ideas.

OK Chick said...

Also, one question. The Amish Cornbread- do you use the Amish batter that has the pudding?

Suzy said...

Thanks Everybody!
On my way out the door to work so gotta be quick, but I did want to answer you Chick.

Batter=what you get on day 10 BEFORE you add the ingredients for the cake.

Hope this helps!

Kathleen said...

I remember that bread from years ago...sort of like that dish towel chain, no one wants to break it!

My mom had a similar thing with fruit, sat on the counter is a glass had to feed it with sugar every so often..Friendship fruit, or something!!

Your breads and pancakes look great...I don't want to start one, no one to give it to, and I don't want to start a day care here...:)

Foley said...

Suzy, you're such a sweetie! I've done the Friendship bread years ago, I think its in different parts of the country and various times!

Your recipes look good - that stack of pancakes was huge!!

Congrats on your photos on FG !!

Marsha said...

Suzy you are a great friend to all! One of my favorite cakes is a "mounds" cake and this version sounds great! I remember those starters from years ago as well and didn't know hey had made a resurgence.

Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Oh Amish friendship bread! I remember making that when I was growing up. Someone would bring it into school and then we'd pass it all around. I loved it!

A Grain of Salt said...

Oh wow, Suzy, all those babies! You are a good friend (but not just because of the bread!). I'll take some Almond Joy please! Well, the cornebread and pancakes do it for me too!

Cynthia said...

Suzy, why am I not surprised that you could not throw out the Friendship Bread starters or that you buy half-dead plants.

I do understand both of those concepts. I've trained John to NEVER buy me cut flowers. I do not like throwing them away, yet don't like to see them past their prime.

It's sweet that you've researched their storage and additional recipes. And what you've made with the starter sounds delicious.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

You are a good friend, Suzy! I would hate to throw it away too but coming out your ears is a lot of starter - LOL. I've never tried this before. I do remember the fruit thing that Kathleen mentioned from years ago.

The Almond Joy Bread sounds so good!

Carol said...

You are a great friend, Suzy!

That Almond Joy bread looks awesome!

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Tanya Tucker said...

I've looked through the different comments etc. but couldn't find the answer to my question. On the original starter - is that 1 Tablespoon of yeast or 1 teaspoon? you don't dissolve it first?

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I will so try these! Thanks!

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