Friday, March 13, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

My dad brought home a bag of the smelly starter last week. After putting up with the smell of stale beer, letting out the air every day, and making sure my cat didn't eat the plastic bag, we've got Amish Friendship Bread! It tastes great. I'm actually really surprised by this! The only thing: it's probably worse for us than the fudge I made yesterday. Ah, the joys of making food and then giving it away. It's what keeps me sane! Too bad I don't have school tomorrow or I'd give it to people there. Luckily my mom has to work. Hope they enjoy it!

After I put the starter into 4 plastic bags I came upstairs to copy the directions. I decided to look online, because one thing bothers me. Actually multiple things. All the myth revolving around this bread is just annoying. No metal bowls or spoons? And since when did the Amish have instant pudding? They are the only ones with the starter recipe? I think not! I found it online easily. There is a great post at My Sister's Kitchen about these myths.

So instead of copying the set of directions I received with the starter, I made a new one. One that points out and debunks the myths. The recipe is incredibly versatile, too. People have tons of variations. I definitely plan to try some of them!

Got a starter? Here's what to do. Don't, but want one? It's easy to make!

Air will get in the bag; just let it out every day
It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble, and ferment
Ignore the bad smell of the starter, the bread tastes good!

Day 1: Do nothing
Days 2-5: Mush the bag
Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, & 1 cup milk, mush the bag
Days 7-9: Mush the bag
Day 10: Follow the instructions below

• Pour the contents of the bag into a bowl.
• Add 1½ cups flour, 1½ cups sugar, and 1 1/3 cups milk. Stir.
• Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 4 1-gallon bags. Keep a yeast starter for yourself (if you choose) and give the other 3 along with copies of this recipe to friends. Write today's date on each bag so your friends will know what to designate as Day 1.

• Preheat the oven to 325°.
• To the remaining yeast mixture in the bowl add the following:
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup oil
• ½ cup milk
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. vanilla
• 1½ tsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• ½ tsp. salt
• 2 cups flour
• 1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
• Grease or oil 2 large loaf pans.
• Mix an additional ½ cup sugar and 1½ tsp. cinnamon. Dust the greased pan with half of this mixture.
• Pour the batter evenly into 2 pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top.
• Bake approximately 1 hour.
• Allow the loaves to cool (about 10 minutes) until they loosen easily from the pans.

I’ve decided to debunk some of the myths for you:
• You can use metal bowls and spoons
• You can miss days and just pick up where you left off
• The starter can be saved in the fridge for weeks, just pick up on the day you left off
• The starter can be frozen and saved for months
• You can change the recipe!! Make it chocolate, coconut, banana, lemon, whatever! BE CREATIVE! It’s very versatile. Just add, omit, or change certain parts
• You can cook it in whatever size pan you want. Just change the cook time
• The Amish are not the only ones with the starter. Simply put 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. milk, and 1 pack yeast in a bag and let it sit on the counter. Call that Day 1, and you’re good to go.
• It’s probably not even Amish. xD

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rant, Update, and Wishing- All in One Post! =D

Last night my parents and my grandparents were at a meeting to hear if we could get a variance to put a mobile home on a piece of property that my grandfather owns. Our would-be-neighbors got up and said that they felt a mobile home next door would devalue their property. WTF?! There’s no house there! They’ve cleared the land to put a house there, their second house in fact. So my parents can’t own one house- but they can own two? We were turned down for the variance. We can’t live on that property. But you know what? It is also zoned for agriculture. I hope they enjoy their new neighbors. They are going to be real pigs compared to what we would have been. =) We’re going to tear down or reuse the structure that is already there (which is a total POS) and have a few pigs, maybe some chickens.

Okay, rant over! We were all just really hoping to get the variance. We wanted to move onto that property and own a home instead of renting. Better ourselves. We’re still going to most likely move soon. The people we’re renting from don’t want to pay to have the roof fixed or do anything to maintain the house. Fingers crossed that we find a nice house to move into!

I’ll be heading to the dentist in a little bit to have some of my cavities taken care of. I hope I’m not in too much pain after. I actually want to go to school this afternoon, so I can go to the movies tonight! ($5.50 for all movie tickets- and you get free popcorn.) Last night I went bowling with some friends. $2 Tuesdays. Shoes for $2 and each game for $2. It was well worth the $6 to go out and have fun. Even if I have fallen behind on getting scholarships filled out, journaling through The Sunflower, or working on my quilt. Yikes! I should work on those.

It is also Wishcasting Wednesday! Jamie asks- what do you wish to change? I wish to find a new wonderful home for my family to live in!

Update- I am back from the dentist! Even though I'm not in pain (in fact, the entire left side of my mouth is numb) I am staying home. My dad said to my sister and I "Either you're bothing going to school or you're both staying home." My sister doesn't want to go. I am not looking forward to playing catch up on my schoolwork, but at least I get to work on all that other stuff while at home. My dad even said I could still go to the movies!