Amish bread experiment

Ah ha. The cursed Amish friendship bread made an entrance in the office this week. Everyone has done this at one point- you get the bag of bubbly mush, shake it up and add some stuff, and after 10 days you put some of it in bags and pawn it off on your friends. Then you eat an entire bunt pan of coffee cake bread in 2 days, and wonder why your jeans are tight.

Not that I’ve ever done that.

I resisted the urge to bring a bag of starter home yesterday, but then got to thinking– isn’t that pretty much the same idea as sourdough bread? N & I had talked about doing a sourdough starter, but were discouraged by all of the waiting. It can take up to 2 years to get a decent starter with a pleasant level of “sourness”!

I did a bit of googling and decided that I would try taking part of this starter and turning it in a sourdough starter. What the heck, right?!

First I measured out the goop I was given for AFB- 2 1/2 cups. I decided to use 1/2 c. of that for my starter. Inspired by this, I put the goop in a quart jar, added 1/2 c. warm water and 1/2 c. flour, mixed well with a wooden spoon, and covered. The jar is sitting on top of my fridge waiting for its next feeding.

My game plan is to add 1/2 each warm water and flour for the next three days. On the fourth day, I’m going to stir it down (to release most gas), and throw out about half of it. Then I’ll feed it for another 2-3 days, throw some out, and feed for another 4-6 days before trying our first sourdough recipe. It’s a shot in the dark, but I’m willing to try it!

K. Back to the yummy coffee-cake bread.

I was left with 2 cups of day-10 goop and trying to figure out how to make this work… I wanted a batch of bread tonight and an extra starter, and that’s it. I decided that since the original recipe calls for an extra 4 bags plus the current batch, I would work on the assumption of the starter being tailored for a batch of 5. (See this post for the recipe and instructions I got, as I know there variations out there.) 2 1/2 cups of original mush divided by 5 is 1/2 cup each… so I kept 1 cup of the goop. I added 1/2 c. each sugar, flour, and milk, and re-measured: 2 cups. So I put one cup in a clean tupperware and stashed in the fridge for later use, and kept the remaining cup for the batter.

Following still?

THEN, I decided that I did not want two large loaves of Amish bread. Plus, I wanted it sorta healthy but still tasty.  Hmm. I decided to throw all caution to the wind. I added to the cup of starter:

1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. milk, and mix well. Then add:

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
dash of salt

Mix well again. Fold in one small, very finely diced apple.

The resulting batter was a lot like banana bread, without bananas. The cinnamon and whole wheat flour combo always makes my knees weak- I love the nuttiness, the slight bite.

I baked this in a greased loaf pan at 325 for… oh, I dunno, maybe 35 to 45 minutes? It smells great, but is yet to be tasted.

One thing is for sure- you can’t say I’ve got a boring kitchen. :)

ETA: My experiment produced a moist bread, but it certainly is not coffee-cake like. I would guess that most people would prefer more sugar- 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 should do the trick. I would consider adding more cinnamon and some agave nectar, but all-in-all, it’s a pretty good loaf of breakfast bread.

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3 Comments

Filed under Breads

3 responses to “Amish bread experiment

  1. I’ve always wondered if you could do other stuff with that goop. I usually refuse to take the plastic baggie because if I make a loaf of the cinnamon bread I’m a goner.

  2. Pingback: Sourdough pita bread « Overgrown Waltz

  3. Pingback: Sourdough Chocolate Cake « Overgrown Waltz

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