I was intrigued when wrote to me about a ‘Starter Kit’ for Amish friendship bread. After some research, I was convinced it is not only safe to bake with this starter, it is also super moist and delicious. Although it sits on your countertop for 10 days, most of the days you do nothing other than mixing it once. It was really fun to bake with a sourdough starter, which I haven’t done before. Made me feel like a ‘real’ baker. And, I wholeheartedly thank Nupur for considering me to send this ‘chain letter’.
The package I received had a slightly brown, gooey concoction. It had a “strong ‘sour’ smell and I panicked that it had gone bad. Then further investigation told me that it is the way they are supposed to smell, due to the live culture and had they gone rancid, they would turn pink or orange,. Phew! I was uncertain through each stage as this was the first time for me. But, this starter is so forgiving that even an inexperienced baker can take up this challenge.
Next comes the flavouring part. Apple and cinnamon seem to be the popular option. Although they are a good combination, I am really sick and tired of Apple-Cinnamon in everything, from cakes to air freshener. Then, G came up with the brilliant idea of mimicking a Pineapple Upside-Down cake. Wow! What an idea (he is my sous chef, you see;)).
The cake turned out to be moist and delicious, as everyone claims. The sweet cherry particularly worked superbly with the pineapple. It reminded me of tutty fruity bread that I had back in India.
Even though the starter comes with a sheet of instructions, I am giving the recipe that I followed, as a guidelines to future recipients. I have halved the original recipe to yield one loaf of bread which is more than sufficient for the two of us.
If you are left with the starter without anyone to share, or if you are on a vacation or you just want to reserve a portion for future use, freeze the dough. I read in various forums that it lasts forever. When you are ready to use it, thaw the starter for one whole day and use it in the recipe.
Feel free to add any flavouring by using different pudding mix or fruits. A cup of chopped nuts is also a delicious addition. For a chest of ideas, visit .Ingredients
Amish friendship starter – ¾ cup
All purpose flour or maida – 1 cup
Instant vanilla pudding mix – 1 small packet
Crushed pineapple – ½ cup
Pineapple juice – ½ cup
Maraschino cherries – ½ cup
Eggs – 2, small
Oil – ¼ cup
Apple sauce – ¼ cup
Orange zest – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Mix all of the above except cherries. Mixing cherries into the batter results in colour bleeding. Grease a loaf pan with shortening or butter, line the bottom of the pan with cherries. Pour the bread dough. Bake in a 325F oven for 60-65 minutes. If you are not using any fruit, reduce the baking time by 5-10 mins. Test for doneness by inserting a tooth pick and see whether it comes out clean. Invert onto a cooling wrack, cool, slice and serve.