November 20, 2008|Comments (41)
Ode to thee, Amish Friendship Bread! O whisper your sweet nothings to me, you darling lump of sourdough goodness. Thou art a lot of trouble disguised in an innocent Ziploc bag with delicate bubbles. Nay! I shall not fall for thee this year, evil tempter! O but how is one to resist such charm?
See? You are now aching for a slice, nay the whole loaf — to bathe in butter and sink your teeth into. Who was I kidding? I could not begin to let the holidays pass without my beloved friendship bread.
Keeping the spirit of friendship bread is especially important in today’s world. We are an instant gratification society and we need a subtle reminder that the best things in life must be waited for, worked toward, and carefully tended to — just like the sweetest of friendships.
The Sweet Sourdough Starter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 package active dry yeast (if you buy it in bulk: 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
- Measure the water in a glass measuring cup and add the yeast. Stir. Wait until it foams (about 8-10 minutes)
- In a glass mixing bowl, stir the flour and sugar together. Slowly blend in the yeast water and the warm milk.
- Cover loosely with a towel and leave it at room temperature until it begins bubbling like crazy. Then pour it into a Ziploc bag and stick it in the fridge for the night.
- After a full 24 hours, squeeze the bag a few times to stir the contents and then put it back in the fridge. Do that each day for three days.
- After the three days have passed, remove 2 cups of starter to make some Amish Friendship Bread after you replenish the starter by stirring in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Let it sit at room temperature while you make the bread and then stick it back in the fridge.
- Follow Steps 4-5 and repeat as often as you would like.
NOTE: The starter may be frozen for later use — just thaw at room temperature and enjoy.
Now for the Amish Friendship Bread… the pound cake and coffee cake hybrid that will send you into sensory overload. Yes, and while were talking about overload — don’t worry about sending starter to everyone you know. This is not meant to be an edible chain letter but simply an inexpensive way to let your friends and family know that they are loved.
- 2/3 cup oil
- 1 cup starter (very full cup — possibly a little more than a cup)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup rasins, craisins, or chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup nuts (optional…. could use mashed banana, pumpkin, or something else)
Mix dry ingredients and then add eggs, starter, and oil. Mix well, stir in add-ins, and pour into two well greased loaf pans and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Send a link to this post to ten of your friends in the next hour and your every wish will come true. Sorry, I just had to say it. I couldn’t resist.
November 12, 2008|Comments (9)
I know you want the recipe for this sweet country treat! Grab your cast iron skillet and get ready for a slice of heaven. Like anyone could stop at one slice. Read more…
October 31, 2008|Comments (51)
Bread is my weakness. It calls to me in the night and from the rooftops. Our love is a real and tangible thing. Thankfully, I am not the only one to fall for the steamy fragrant delicious stuff. My darling husband, light of my life, has also fallen into its spongy clutches. I fear that I am partly to blame. **tsk tsk**
Cardamom, a must-have in any Nordic bread, is one of my favorite spices which I learned to use while living in Washington state in Lutheran country (lots of people with Nordic origins there). Prior to moving there, I used cardamom only in curries and sometimes apple pie. Oh, how much I missed!
Now, I will share my favorite cardamom-containing bread recipe but it’s a secret, so don’t tell anyone.
- 1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 11/4 cups lukewarm milk or water
- 3/4 cup melted butter or oil
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
1.) Mix flour, yeast, and cardamom in your mixing bowl. Set aside. Eat some Halloween candy. You deserve a reward.
2.) Heat milk and stir in sugar until dissolved. I like to do this in a 4 cup glass measuring cup but do whatever makes you feel like dancing.
3.) Add the milk and sugar to the flour mixture. Add 1/2 cup melted butter or oil, too. Mix on low (if you are using a mixer) until a nice sticky dough forms.
4.) Change out the mixer blade and use a dough hook. Knead for a few minutes and then stop. Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes with a light cover over it (I use a plate and just stick it over the top of the mixing bowl). This is called autolyse (sounds like auto-lease) and is nap time for the dough during which the gluten relaxes and absorbs moisture.
5.) During the autolyse, I wash the dishes and paint my baking pan with rest of the melted butter (or oil). When the twenty minutes is up, begin kneading again and knead in the salt.
6.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into three equal parts. Let them rise for about 30-45 minutes. Roll the dough balls into ropes and braid them on the greased baking pan. Tuck the ends of the braid under. Sneak another piece of candy. I won’t tell.
7.) Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the braided loaf with egg and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake until golden brown (about 30 minutes).
Need more recipes? Of course you do. Check out The Very Best of Our Site for a complete listing of the cool stuff on this site. Oh, and for goodness sake, hide those candy wrappers before someone sees!