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Amish Friendship Bread Experiments

That Man brought the dreaded gallon-sized bag of goo home from work the other day.  You know, the one you have to feed every 5 days and try to dump several bags of new goo on your friends and family.  Eventually they all start running in the opposite direction because they don’t want anything rotting on their counter.

So I end up doubling recipes, making tons of cake that none of us need.  On the bright side, it doesn’t tempt me at all, but the girls sure don’t need a bunch of rich cake to eat every day.

Besides, it’s always bothered me to put a box of artificial pudding in “Amish” bread.

So I googled and found all sorts of recipes that use the Amish starter for REAL FOOD.  This site had tons of recipes (both with pudding and without).  I had no idea that there were so many options!  Not just sweet stuff, but pancakes, biscuits and breads — anything where you’d use sourdough.  The Amish starter has a cup of sugar in it (each time I feed it), but I figure after 5 days or so, very little of the sugar is probably still there, although it’s definitely going to be sweeter than regular sourdough.

The first thing I tried didn’t turn out so well.  I made a chocolate cake using my fresh-ground whole wheat flour.  However, I don’t think I ground it quite fine enough, so the cake was a bit grainy and very heavy.  It also wasn’t sweet enough for the family, and not really chocolately enough.  They ate it, but it stuck around on the counter for days instead of disappearing.  Next time I’ll put chocolate chips in it, extra cocoa, and maybe a little more sugar.  I’m also getting better at grinding the flour.  I actually set a timer for a full 60 seconds in the VitaMix, because I just won’t grind it long enough if I don’t.

Tonight, we decided to have breakfast for supper:  pancakes and bacon, the monsters’ favorite.  I hardly ever eat pancakes, especially white flour ones made from a mix (again, family favorite is the “Pioneer” mix).  However, tonight they sounded really good.  I pulled out my Jane Brody cookbook and found my favorite multi-grain recipe (fresh-ground whole wheat and oats), but I tweaked it to incorporate the Amish starter.

At lunch, I put in 3 T of starter, along with the milk and flour for pancakes according to the recipe.  Mixed it in a bowl, and then set the whole thing in the oven with the light on to ferment all afternoon.  The recipe said to let it sit all night but I figured a couple of hours would be fine (although next time I’d probably use more starter if I didn’t have all night to let it work its magic).  Then for supper, I made the rest of the recipe like usual.

Man they were really tasty!  My favorite way to eat them is with a cup of no-sugar applesauce and a pat of real butter.  So good!

Have you ever made anything with the Amish starter?