Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Amish Bread Recipe

This is my mother's Amish Bread recipe. I have no idea how or where it got that name...or if Amish ever had anything to actually do with this bread. There are other recipes of the same name...but this one is our very, very favorite! We've been baking it for at least the past eight to ten years! The photo is a little blurry, but it was taken with my cellphone yesterday....just before we devoured the cake. (I was trying to jockey for the front of the line, so I could get a photo!! Almost didn't make it!)

And, this post is just in time for Christmas Day baking!! Or, you could do this for any time...just plan ahead as it takes 10 days!!! (really just a few minutes each day...and it tastes great...and is easy breezy). First you make the starter...then ten days bake the cakes.

Sometimes, we make the starter...and then on the tenth day...we divide it up between the "girls" in the family...instead of baking on the 10th day. And other times...we bake the entire starter off. Usually at Christmas my mom bakes a lot of these...wraps them in clear plastic wrap, then in tinfoil...and freezes them. She gives them as presents too!

The starter recipe...and dry ingredients in a little jar...with a bow...and a copy of the recipe is a good little gift too. You have permission to copy the recipe...and you will not be sorry that you did! I promise.

Amish Friendship Bread
This is a 10-day recipe…

Day One: Receive the starter from a friend…or create a new cake starter by mixing 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, and 1 pkg dry yeast. Place all of the ingredients in an airtight bag…1 or 2 gallon size. Set aside. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. (Note: we use self-rising flour...I have no idea if this matters or not)

Day Two through Five: Squeeze the bag! Check the bag throughout the day. It is normal for the batter to bubble and expand with air. If the bag expands a lot…crack the top and let the air out…reseal the bag.

Day Six: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag!

Day Seven through Nine: Squeeze the bag! Check the bag throughout the day. It is normal for the batter to bubble and expand with air. If the bag expands a lot…crack the top and let the air out…reseal the bag.

Day Ten: BAKING DAY!! You will need a large plastic or glass bowl (do not use metal) and a wooden spoon (do not use metal)...(I don't know why no metal...the original recipe (hand-written) says so.)

Combine the starter with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup flour. Mix well. Divide the new starter into 3 parts…. This is your new starter…and the beginning of a new DAY ONE. These can be given to friends along with the baking recipe below…or you can use the entire starter to create multiple cakes.


1 Cup Cake Starter   
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Oil               
3 small pkgs vanilla instant pudding mix
3 Cups self-rising flour  
5 large eggs
3/4 Cup milk (buttermilk is fine too)          
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring   
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 Cup chopped pecans (optional)
3/4 Cup raisins (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a large glass or plastic bowl. Mix well with wooden spoon. Butter four loaf pans or one bundt style cake pan (we use spray Pam instead). Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar in the bottom of each pan (we put about 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl for this purpose and just get a pinch to sprinkle all over the bottom and sides of the loaf pans). Makes 4 loafs...or one large bundt cake.

Fill each of the loaf pans about 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top. Bake at 325 for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours…or until a toothpick comes out clean with inserted into the cake middle. 

These are excellent to freeze ahead of time, and just thaw one out when it is needed. They keep for about 6 months in the freezer...or at least, we have eaten all of ours by that time!!

The recipe has a lot of oil...and I think would be a good candidate to substitute some of that oil with applesauce instead. Shhhhhhh...don't tell mom!

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