Monday, December 3, 2012

Friendship Amish Bread: Pass on the flavor!

Social media has been a wonderful avenue that allows us all to connect with family and friends and also meet many new people and share in all our interests, whether it be food, crafts, shopping, family, or whatever our great minds can think up. Because we are all creative in our own ways, we each think uniquely. Sharing can not only broaden our minds, but allow us to experience things we may not have otherwise; and that is why I am so thankful to have Tina in my life.

Tina, or "Gramma" as she is known, is a fellow friend on our facebook page. Well, until...

Until I seen one of her posts about Friendship Amish Bread. I've never heard of the bread before, but the "friendship" part, the vanilla pudding part, and the fact that it was made with cinnamon was all I needed to begin this project. I call it a project, because baking to me usually means purchasing an already portioned amount of ingredients and adding eggs, milk, or water, mixing, and in 15-30 minutes I'm done. I do not normally take my time in creating homemade breads, desserts, or anything of the sort, let alone 10 days! However, it is totally worth it!

Starter Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
3 cups sugar

Starter directions:
Day 1 - make your starter with 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of sugar. Add this to a gallon size Ziplock bag.
Day 2, 3, 4, and 5 - mush bag 1 or 2 times a day.
Day 6 - Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup sugar. Mush to mix well. May be lumpy.
Day 7, 8, and 9 - mush bag 1 or 2 times a day.
Day 10 - Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of sugar. Mush bag to mix.
Hints: Make sure to seal your zip-loc bag well, or you do risk the possibility of the bag busting open. DO NOT USE METAL UTENSILS WHEN MAKING THIS BREAD! It will change the process of the dough!
Also, your starter will collect air during the process. You will want to make a small opening in the bag and burp the air out. When you do, do not be alarmed. The smell should be almost like a homemade beer brew. It is not the most pleasant smell, but I promise that it does not tell what's to come.

Once your starter is complete on the 10th day, pour 3 cups of mixture into 3 separate bags...1 cup in each. (Keep a bag for yourself and give the other 2 to two friends, with a copy of the recipe).
*Pour the rest of your mixture in to a medium size mixing bowl.
At this point, you will have different options for flavor. The first time making this bread, I opted to follow the recipe as provided. Thereafter, I have managed to create different flavors that each turned out deliciously wonderful!

Original flavor: Add 1 cup oil (or 1 cup applesauce); 1/2 cup milk; 3 eggs; 1 tsp vanilla; and Mix well. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 cup sugar; 1 1/2 tsp baking powder; 2 tsp cinnamon; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 1 cup nuts (optional); 1 large pkg instant vanilla pudding; and Mix thoroughly. Batter will be thick.

Grease 2 large or 4 small loaf pans. Sprinkle all around pan with cinnamon sugar. Pour batter in to pans. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. Bake on 350* for 1 hour (or less if you use 4 smaller pans) or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool on wire rack for approx 15 minutes. Run knife around inside edges of loaf pans and remove from pan and continue to cool on wire racks. (I hold the pan, with a pot holder in one hand, and turn out loaf on other hand, then place bottom side down on cooling rack.)

***I baked two large loaves. For the first loaf, I used cooking oil and followed the recipe precisely without nuts. The second loaf, I substituted the cooking oil for apple sauce just to see the variance in flavor and added nuts. I did not notice much of a difference, if any, between the use of oil or apple sauce. Although, the family preferred the loaf with nuts saying it was sweeter.

Front loaf: Cooking oil, without nuts
Back loaf: Apple sauce, with nuts

After enjoying the wonderful flavors from both loaves of bread and hearing about the delicious ways Tina's friends were altering the flavors, I knew I had to give my hand a try. After all, I had many starters left over in the freezer. Just a few ideas from Tina's friends included substituting the vanilla pudding with pumpkin spice pudding, pistachio pudding, and chocolate pudding. Well, I love chocolate and just knew this would be my next flavor choice.

Following the same recipe, I substituted the instant vanilla pudding for chocolate pudding; and instead of the nuts, I added chocolate chips!

This one was really sweet, even for my liking. But the kids seemed to enjoy it!
You can never get enough of this bread! We have it for dessert, we eat a slice for breakfast with our coffee. It is always satisfying anytime of the day. So once again, I went on to experiment. Banana Nut Bread! Yum!

Following the recipe to the 'T', I just added 1 1/2 ripened bananas and crushed walnuts. I had to mush the ingredients by hand for this recipe to make sure and mix up the bananas evenly.

 I told you at the beginning, I used to follow "Gramma's in the kitchen" on the ever dreaded facebook. Now I can enjoy all of Tina's recipes and you can too on Pinterest and Blogger!


  1. Thank you so very much for mentioning me (several times) in this post! I appreciate you!
    I'm happy that you love this bread so much! All of your different recipes sound and look delicious!!

    1. You are very welcome Tina! You deserve the credit for this one. It was an amazing experience, and I have conquered my fears of baking from scratch. :)

  2. I was really excited to find this recipe, until I realized it calls for instant vanilla pudding. I use only organic ingredients, so I was wondering, could something else be substituted for the pudding? The only organic pudding I have found is the cook variety. Suggestions? Thank you in advance.