Monday, January 18, 2010
My Amish Friendship Bread Fiasco, I mean, Recipe
A few of my friends have been raving about my variation of Amish Friendship Bread, so I am posting the recipe.
First, you need to get a starter bit and directions. Supposedly on the Amish can make the starter. Apparently allrecipes.com wasn't aware of this rule.
Step 1: get your starter either from the Amish or the internet.
My starter was in a ziploc baggie, but you can put yours in a bowl, as long as it isn't metal. Don't use anything metal. Let's assume you have your starter in a baggie like I did.
Step 2: mush it and let out any air (aka, yeast farts) that is in the bag. Reseal Repeat this step once a day for three days.
Step 3: Add one cup of flour, one cup of sugar, and one cup of milk. Or, those were the directions I were given. However, the process is a little tricky. Let me explain further.
You don't need all that sugar, so when you are measuring out the sugar, just don't fill the measuring cup all the way. When you put the flour in the baggie, be sure to dump about 3 tablespoons on the kitchen table.
When adding the milk, be sure to hold the bag open with your left hand while pouring the milk with your right. Be sure to pour the milk so that it starts running down the side of the measuring cup. When you notice the milk dripping down the measuring cup, don't stop pouring the milk. Instead, allow it to drip on one of the edges of the bag you are not supporting with your hand. As the milk drips on the bag, it will weigh it down enough to get in the way of the milk actually going into the bag.
Step 4: Get mad.
By this point, your measuring cup will be empty and you will have no clue how much milk actually got into the bag. Plus, you've made a mess. Since you're going to need more milk in the baggie, put the baggie down and pour more milk into your measuring cup. But be sure to only place the baggie down briefly, because you will make a larger mess as the contents of the bag spill onto the table, as is only natural. Prop up the baggie against something, pour a little more milk into the measuring cup, and this time pour the milk fast, but still allow some milk to go onto the table.
Step 5: Spend a few minutes trying to close the bag. This task will prove difficult as the bag is a mess and the stupid mixture is all stuck in the part that is supposed to seal the bag. Make do with what you can get, clean up your mess, and begin mushing the bag until well mixed. Note: the bag will inevitably reopen and spill more of the mixture onto the table and floor. When this happens, utter a few almost cuss words--"dang it!" works well. If you don't like to almost swear, you can substitute this ingredient for a "no!" or two. When mixed well and the baggie is resealed, put it in the sink, because you expect the bag to explode or something equally annoying to happen. Be sure to sigh as you walk away.
Step 6: On the next day, mush the bag and let out all the yeast farts. Repeat this step for three more days.
Step 7: Preheat your oven to 325º and then place the contents of your baggie in a nonmetal bowl. Make sure the bowl is a Goldie Locks size: not too big, not too small. Don't add another cup of sugar, because that is just too much. As in step 3, add as much as you feel like, as long as it is less than one cup. Add a cup of flour and a cup of milk, but this time don't spill any. Mix, but don't be worried about lumps.
Step 8: Your mixture will make four new starters. The Amish suggest you save one for yourself and give the other three to your friends. But not everyone wants to make a dessert bread, so only make two starters. To make the starter, search for another ziploc baggie. One just big enough for a sandwich will be a little on the small size, but use it anyone. It will make the mess in step 3 a lot easier to make. Place this baggie in the freezer. For the second starter, use a much larger baggie, because that just makes a lot more sense. Write the date on your baggie and set it aside for a friend.
Now, you'll have enough mixture for two more starters with some left over to bake. Let's just assume you have two times as more as your directions call for even though you don't know if a starter equals the amount you'll have left over to bake. Of course, if those two amounts were equal, then you would actually have three times the amount your directions expected you to have. Just ignore that logic and double the rest of your ingredients list.
Well, start by adding 3 eggs, two large and one medium. Then don't add one cup of sugar, because, really, you've added way too much sugar. It is getting ridiculous. Just add some sugar. The recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, but you should only add a cup and half, since that is all you have, which wouldn't be too much of an issue, except you are actually supposed to double the recipe, even though doubling the recipe makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Step 9: Get mad. But not too mad, it isn't the end of the world. You've still got some dry pancake mix in the cupboard and you use that instead of flour all the time. But don't add more than a cup of pancake mix. You want to run out of pancake mix before being able to double the amount of flour you are supposed to put in, even though doubling the recipe is a pretty stupid thing to do. Throw the stupid box in your recycling pile and add another medium egg. Why not? It isn't like you are going by any sort of recipe now. And sure, you are probably just wasting stuff, because the bread won't taste good at all.
Skip adding the baking powder and baking soda, because the pancake mix makes up for that, right? Ignore the fact that you didn't add much pancake mix at all, certainly not enough to account for doubling the baking soda and baking powder, even though you should probably be tripling the recipe, at least.
Since the recipe calls for one cup of oil, add two. Say, "crap" as you realize you don't have enough oil.
Step 10: Get mad. Say "crap" a few more times and text someone about your frustration of how you went all the way to Walmart to get the ingredients for this stupid bread, made a list, and still managed to not get any oil, even though it was definitely on your list. Pace a little bit, trying to figure out what you're going to do, since the grocery store is now closed and you've already made plans to hang out with people.
Don't get too relieved when your friend offers to bring over some oil, since he is a great guy. When he asks what kind you want, be sure to lighten up enough to make a joke. Tell him you want anything but motor.
When your friend arrives, go back to making your bread and being mad. You need to make sure he sees how upset you are with the bread. When you tell him about the mess you made on day 3, be sure to talk fast and loudly, raising the pitch of your voice here and there, because you are still mad. Add the large box of dry, vanilla pudding mix and then go for the oil. Add one cup of oil.
Step 11: Get mad. The friggin' mixing bowl might not be large enough. But it is the biggest one you have. I mean, dang it! Stupid bread.
Measure out another cup of oil, I mean, you've got this far. Add as much oil as you can without spilling any. Pour the remaining oil back into the oil container. Grab a mixing spoon.
Step 12: Get mad. How are you supposed to mix the stupid stuff if you filled it to the brim, you idiot? Whatever. What-ever. I mean, can the mess you're about to make be any worse than the mess you made on day 3?
Stir mixture very carefully, but start by spilling some on your sweater. Don't be alarmed when the oil at the top of the mixture inevitably drips down the outside of the bowl and onto the table, I mean, who cares now, right?
Step 13: Look at the mixture and realize it actually looks like it might not be horrible. Search for bread pan. Or, since you don't have a bread pan, get a casserole dish. Or, get out a few, since you have a lot more dough than you expected.
Pour mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top. Don't scrimp on the sugar, though. Your pissed off, you might as well use as much sugar as your heart desires. When making the cinnamon sugar, put the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl with a cover. Shake the bowl, but make sure the cover comes off just enough to get cinnamon sugar on the floor, table, and on your pants. Brush the sugar off of your pants, but overreact as you do it. You're enjoying the attention from your friend and, well, that would happen, wouldn't it? As if enough hasn't gone wrong, now you would spill sugar all over the freakin' place. Dang it! Uuuuugh! I mean ... just ... argh!
Bake for one hour. Or, maybe about 50 minutes. Just don't over bake it. You obviously don't know what you're doing, so you better check it at after 45 minutes to prevent a disaster.
Lick the batter off of your mixing spoon and be pleasantly surprised by the taste of the batter. All that sugar came in handy, because it actually tastes good. And, come to find out, the bread actually tastes really good, especially the crispy top with the cinnamon sugar on top.
Sure, you got mad, but it was worth it. I mean, don't go crazy and take that other starter out of the freezer. Let's be honest, you need a break from making Amish Friendship Bread, even if it is really good.