Amish Friendship Bread
Last week I told you of one of my favorite traditions, Amish Friendship Bread and gave you a recipe and printable for the starter base. As promised here is the recipe for the bread with my favorite alternatives as well as some of my favorite resources I have used to make the most of my start mix (as it keeps growing). Some of my favorites that can be made with the starter are homemade sourdough bread, pancakes and pizza.
A Little Refresher on Friendship Bread
The root of "friendship" bread goes well beyond the Amish culture, as the base is simply a sourdough starter mix. This sourdough variety is a simple base known for creating a sweet, mouth watering cinnamon confection that bridges the gap between cake and bread.
"Friendship Bread" has been coined as such due to it's tradition of the sourdough starter being passed from friend to friend as the mix "grows" once it's "fed".
There are many different methods of making sourdough starters. Sourdoughs date back several thousand years and have many varieties, all of which are fermented. Starter mix can be used to create a wide variety of sourdough items from rolls to muffins and beyond.
Fermented foods are excellent for your gut health! They promote GOOD BACTERIA in our gut when consumed that can create a healthy environment to break down your food easier to release energy, vitamins and nutrients into your body. Yes you heard, me GOOD BACTERIA.
Foods like Kombucha, pickled items, Kefir, yogurts and sourdoughs fall into this category. They can help us become healthy from the inside out. The fermentation process creates probiotics that are known to...
improve digestive health
improve heart health by reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol
promote good gut bacteria
boost your immune system
aids in weight loss
improve mental health, specifically anxiety and depression symptoms naturally
reduce blood sugar levels
Disclaimer: Not all people do well with fermented foods. As an adult I have developed some food intolerances, one of which is to gluten. When I consume normal breads, foods and beverages with gluten I bloat to the point of pain and have terrible trapped gas (TMI I know, but seriously, I do.) I have discovered through much trial and error that I do not have the same issues with sourdoughs as I do with traditional doughs.
If you want to learn other ways to overcome anxiety naturally, click here.
Onto the Bread Recipe...
You'll love the delectable cinnamon bread that has become known in the Amish Tradition as well as it's variations. Sourdough starters can be a bit of work, kind of similar to a science experiment, but WELL worth the effort!
Traditional Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk
2 cups flour
1 large box vanilla pudding
2 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 2 loaf pans and sprinkle with a cinnamon & sugar mixture.
Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Mix thoroughly until smooth.
Add ½ batter to each pan.
Sprinkle top of loaves with cinnamon & sugar mix.
Bake 350 for 45-60 minutes on the center rack until firm and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in elevated pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.
Chocolate Chip: Sub cocoa powder for cinnamon, stir in chocolate chips into batter before pouring & sprinkle pan and tops with sugar only (optional add 1 extra tsp vanilla)
Brownie Bread: eliminate cinnamon from recipe, sub chocolate pudding for vanilla (optional add chocolate chips to make it double chocolate)
Strawberry Heaven: Stir fresh cut strawberries into the traditional batter before pouring into pans (cinnamon is optional on this one.
The sky's the limit with the combinations you can make!
Click here for a printable Amish Friendship Bread Recipe with variations.
Delicious Recipes To Use Up Sourdough Starter Discard
Due to the nature of the sourdough starter and the endless supply you can have by feeding it, you may run out of people to pass this tradition onto. Maybe you just want to keep all the yummy goodness for yourself. Once the starter mix is fed, you must discard some so that you don't run out of room.
I know, I know this feels like a bit of a waste. Never fear! There are plenty of things you can make with the discard. Some of my Favorites are below. Each site has so many options you might never run out of recipes to try and then perfect!
Sourdough Pizza : Little Spoon Farm is one of my go to's for sourdough recipes. Their method of making pizza is amazing! Once your dough is ready, it is charred in a cast iron skillet and then broiled to perfection. A must for visit!
Classic Sourdough Bread : Lavender & Lovage shares a simplified method for making this classic style bread and many other variations. Once again the cast iron skillet and lid play a major role in this masterpiece. A kitchen scale will come in handy also as her recipes call for weighed ingredients.
Sourdough Pancakes : I Am Baker's recipe has some of the lightest and fluffiest pancakes I have ever made. This batter can easily be used for waffles as well. Don't forget, if you make big batches, they are easy to freeze for quick homemade goodies.
I hope you love these goodies as much as my family and friends do also! There are so many things you can make from scratch and enjoy. I often use my discard to make extra friendship bread and freeze them to pull out at a later date, or to have on hand to share with others.
Keep Smiling Always,