Thursday, July 24, 2008

Amish Friendship Bread

Hey, it's your lucky day. Two post for one!

Amish Friendship Bread


1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 small box instant-vanilla-pudding mix (opt)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (opt)
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, mashed bananas, cranberries, etc and/or nuts, (opt)

Cinnamon sugar: (opt)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

For starter:
Mix yeast, flour and sugar together. Add warm water and milk. Mix together with a plastic or wooden spoon until smooth. Place in a plastic, ceramic or glass bowl; or put in a gallon zipper bag. Squish the air out of the zip bag and close it. If in a bowl, just leave it open, or cover lightly with cheesecloth. Let sit on counter. Don't worry, there's enough sugar to prevent spoiling. Don’t refrigerate or use a metal spoon or bowl. The fridge will slow down the process and throw off the yeast cycle. Metal will kill the yeast. (Metal baking pans are ok. The dough isn't "raw" in it long enough to do serious damage to the mix.)

Day 1: begin or receive starter
Day 2: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 3: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 4: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 5: add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk
Day 6: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 7: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 8: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 9: stir with wooden spoon (or squish zip bag)
Day 10: add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk, then:

Put 1 cup of starter in each of three containers. Give two away and keep one. This will begin their day 1. (Actually, I either put one in the freezer for a spare or give it away, use one and keep one for my next batch. When the next batch is done, then I have 2 to give away or make a triple batch of the bread.) Caution, eventually everyone you know will have too much of this stuff and will run when they see you and it will be sort of like trying to give away zucchini! lol

When tired of fooling with it everyday or are going on vacation, put it in a covered container or zip bag and put it in the freezer. Remember to mark where you are in the cycle and then just pick it up where you left off. I've had some in the freezer in a zipper bag for a couple of months and it worked just fine. It is best to freeze it on either day 1, day 5 or day 10 - when it's just been "fed". That way, the yeasties have something to eat. But for a couple of weeks, it won't hurt it to just toss it in the freezer anytime.

For bread:
To the remaining batter, add vegetable oil, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, milk, vanilla-pudding mix, cinnamon and salt. Beat until well blended. Add 1 cup raisins, chocolate chips and/or nuts if desired. Grease two loaf pans well, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, coating bottom well. Pour batter into bread pans, and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar onto tops of loaves. Bake at 325 F for 1 hour. If you don't want the cinnamon/sugar mix, you can grease well and sprinkle with regular or powdered sugar and not put sugar on top unless you want it.

This stuff is SO good. And it's probably got 500,000 calories per slice. sigh

What to do with extra cukes

Well after 6 weeks or so of being brain-dead and not being able to think of a thing to write about that would be interesting, I finally thought of something.

I hope everyone's had a nice summer. My poor garden is just NOW producing tomatoes on the plants, but it seems that I'm not the only one around here with tomatoes that haven't bloomed until the last 2 weeks. It was just too cool at night for them.

I have been given a nice selection of cukes. Too many to eat in a couple of days, too few to make it worthwhile making pickles. What to do with them. Cukes don't freeze well at all. Canning them is even worse, unless you make pickles. Here's what I do with them.

I take about 4 cukes, peel and slice very thin - about 1/4" rounds and place them in a bowl.
I peel and thinly slice an onion into rounds. (I prefer my onions then cut in half so I have half-moons - easier to eat that way.) I place these in a bowl too.

I then add 1 part red wine or apple cider vinegar to 1-2 parts water (I like my cukes sour, so I go 1/1) to just barely cover the veggies. Add some salt to taste and mix it all together. Let it sit for a while in the fridge (or not lol). This will last for a week or so in the fridge - if no one eats it all first.

If you wanted you could also add some pickling spices to it and let it sit overnight before eating. Add some sugar and you'd have sweet/sour pickles.

I haven't given exact measurements because you can make this with however many cukes and onions you have. Sometimes, I just add more veggies to it and it's still good.

Because I like the vinegary foods, I take the peeled cukes and a fork and run the tines down the cuke from top to bottom, all the way around it. It causes the cukes to pick up more of the vinegar dressing. After scoring the cukes, I will then slice them thinly.