In this issue of Party Yak:
My friend Tina brought me an Amish Cinnamon Bread recipe and starter. Delish!
Also commonly called Amish Friendship Bread, it's a recipe, a project and a gift to share with friends. Now, it may be friendship bread but it's not Amish. You knew that, huh? What gave it away, the Ziploc bags and instant pudding?
The simple, 10-day project produces two loaves of cinnamony, sourdough sweet-bread and 4 or 5 gift starters for your friends. So, good things do come to those who wait.
Amish Cinnamon Bread
Important Preparation Tips
Day 1: You receive sourdough bread batter (sponge) in a
1-gallon Ziploc bag. Do nothing but place it on a platter on your
countertop. It will become your "main squeeze" for the next 10 days.
Days 2 and 3: Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 4: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to the bag. Squeeze the bag several times. Keep the batter in the bag till the last day.
Day 5: Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to the bag then, you guessed it, squeeze the bag several times.
Days 7, 8 and 9: Squeeze the bag several times.
Day 10: It's baking and sharing time: In a large non-metallic bowl, combine the batter with another 1 cup of flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon. Set aside a cup of batter for yourself. Pour the remaining 4 to 5 cups batter, in 1 cup portions, into 1-gallon Ziploc bags and give them to friends along with a copy of these instructions.
Return the cup of batter you set aside earlier to the bowl and add:
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
1 large (5.1-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
Now mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture onto 2 well-oiled loaf pans. Pour the batter into the pans evenly. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Variations: Add 1 cup raisins, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries or shredded zucchini to the batter before baking.
Starting from scratch? Again, use only non-metallic utensils.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly dissolve 1 package active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm (105-115°) water. Stir in 3/4 cup warm (105-115°) milk.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour in a separate container. Gradually stir this into the yeast mixture.
Pour the starter into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Count this as Day 1 of the Friendship Bread process.
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