Archive | September, 2009

chocolate amish friendship bundt cake bread stuff

24 Sep

IMG_8254 copy10 days of labor and love. 10 days of mashing until my fingers bled. 10 days of smelling fermented yeast wafting about my bedroom. 10 days of begging strangers to take my future starter babies.  10 days of lead up to this… my creation! chocolate amish friendship bundt cake bread like thing..amajig.

i switched up the flavoring a bit from the “traditional” amish friendship bread, but the result turned out to be a big hit. my friendship-bread-fearing roommate even accepted it and said she would be willing to keep nasty festering baggies of yeast in our house if i promised to make the eventual cake/bread chocolate-flavored. heck, that’s something.

full instructions on how to make this delicious friendly treat are below.  i should add that it will probably help things if you rock out to frank turner as i did while baking this.  (i may or may not have a minor obsession with his music right now.  dear frank turner, if you are out there and happen to enjoy the odd baking blog, you should probably know that i love you and will feed you cake if you come to boston and jam in my kitchen. thanks a bundle. xoxo.)

the full process:

day 1: do nothing.

day 2: mash the bag

day 3: mash the bag

day 4: mash the bag

day 5: mash the bag

day 6: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. mash the bag.

day 7: mash the bag

day 8: mash the bag

day 9: mash the bag

day 10: do the following:

1. pour contents of bag into a non-metal bowl. (they are very big sticklers about not using anything metal when dealing with your yeast.) add 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups milk. mix with a non-metal spoon.  (don’t even think about metal!! curses the day metal was created!! the amish hate metal!!)

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i warn you now… it will be a mother effer to stir this stuff up… would you take a look at my poor non-metal spoon??

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2. measure out 4 seperate batters of 1 cup each into 4 seperate ziplock 1-gallon baggies. this means you give a bag along with this recipe to 3 victims poor saps people who dont know any better friends and keep one for yourself.  (this way you get to bake bread every 10 days for the reeeest of your liiiiifeeee… or… i took all of mine to work, harrassed my coworkers incessently, and then eventually abandoned the starters with an untraceable note in the kitchen…)

3. baking the bread:

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what you’ll need: 3 eggs, 1 cup canola oil, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract (in retrospect i probably should have bumped this up to a full tsp), 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups flour, 2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding mix

– add these ingredients to the remaining batter in the bowl.

-grease up a bundt pan. i used crisco gooed up on a paper towel. let me tell you, paper towels are handy stuff, and coincidently, not metal, so the amish shouldn’t have a problem with it.

-sprinkle some sugar about in the bundt pan.  i thought this may add a nice little pazow to the bunt cake bread stuff… i didn’t really see anything exciting result from it… so your choice.

-pour the batter in bunt pan, and then sprinkle some more sugar on top (you know, if you feel like it). bake at 325 degrees f for about an hour.

IMG_8268 copy(the recipe is usually used with 2 bread pans, but seeing as how i only have one, and it was late, and i was tired and whine whine complain complain… i decided to throw it all into a bundt pan and call it a day. since this “bread” tastes more cake-like anyways, it seemed an alright leap.)


also, in case you were wondering… it tastes just like friendship.


feeding your pet yeast

8 Sep

sorry for the lack of update yesterday.  this was due to the fact that i was too busy not laboring. i spent the majority of the day curled up reading the joy that is pride & prejudice & zombies.  mr. darcy + zombies??  honestly, what more could a girl ask for?  perhaps, a pet yeast…. which brings me to:

day 6: feed your yeast…IMG_8207 copy

what you’ll need: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk

1. add ingredients to baggie.

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2. mash the baggie.

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(please note that it is much more difficult to photograph yourself mashing the bag, than it actually is to do so.)

now, as exciting as my daily updates have been… for the next couple of days, you will be mashing… and mashing… and mashing… for days 7, 8, and 9, in fact.  see you on day 10.


6 Sep

friendshipbread19day 5: mash the bag

wow, bet you wouldn’t have guessed.  don’t worry, tomorrow it gets waaaay more interesting.  i’m sure you will all be waiting with bated breath.


fb: behind the plastic

5 Sep

the yeastie depths

day 4: mash the bag.

while mashing my bag with the utmost grace and efficiency, i got to wondering… what truly lies within the depths on my new little friend? i decided i needed to peel back the layers of plastic, and get at the truth and heart of my starter.  what’s really up with these mystical starter-birthing amish? how are they the only ones with this tasty secret?

and then i came across this on wikipedia: “there is no reason to think that the sweet, cinnamon-flavored bread has any connection to the amish people” …. wait, what?!

“according to elizabeth coblentz, a member of the old order amish and the author of the syndicated column “the amish cook”, true amish friendship bread is ‘just sourdough bread that is passed around to the sick and needy.'” ….. lies!  you can’t prove anything!

wikipedia!! how dare you crush me like this! 

i’ll be here with my fingers in my ears singing “la la la” if anyone needs me.


4 Sep

day 3: mash the bag

today i thought it would be a good idea to sniff the contents of my bag.  i kid you not, it burnt the hair out of my nostrils.  what on earth was i thinking? that was NOT a good idea. heed these words. just say no.  even if all the other kids are huffing their friendship bread starters, stay strong, don’t fall prey to the peer pressure. your olfactories will thank you.

all this is to say that, it is ok if you want to open your bag and release some of that air.  while it is fermenting, air/gas/some-such-thing will accumulate, puffing up your bag.  just when you let that air out, whatever you do, for heaven’s sake, do not sniff it.

friendship bread: day 2

3 Sep


day 2: mash your bag

as you can see, this is advanced stuff. there is a lot of work and concentration involved in order for you to properly nurture and love your friendship bread starter.  it’s a bit like having a pet… a boring, lazy pet… that just sits around, takes and takes and takes without giving back, and doesn’t love you in return.  kind of like a cat.

last night, while preparing for a dinner party with nic, i met the cutest, most loveable creature: a 5-month-old golden doodle puppy named lexi.  it was like cuddling a bouncy, licky mop. i instantaneously fell irrecovably and unconditionally in love. i also suddenly realized that my own pet (a bag of yeast…) was a poor subsitute.  i was washed in dismay as i realized i would never be loved by my starter, while this lady would have her own furry bff loving her face off.  but then i remembered, in 9 days… ill get to eat my pet. and what does this lady get?? love? cuddles? a living mop? please. i get a baked manifestation of friendship. totally better than the real thing.

sometimes friendship comes as bags of yeast

2 Sep

hi friend!

a long, long, long time ago… back when everyone wore bonnets and rode in horse-drawn carriages and creeped about through the dark by candle light… the amish created friendahip.  to this day, they are the only ones with the ancient, secret knowledge of how to create friendship.  seriously, that’s what this piece of paper in front of me says.  oh wait, maybe that was how to create a starter… the act of friendship, bread starter, same difference.   i might not be amish, but i’m pretty sure there is some yeast involved and some measure of love, and warm cuddly feelings mixed in.  but, heck, what do i know? 

today my lovely friend linden passed along this lovely little bundle of joy… my wee little yeastie beastie. as soon as this thing entered my office, the sweet, sweet smell of fermentation filled the air.  im not sure if you are familiar with the smell of fermenting yeast, but it aint a pleasant sort of smell.  that sweet, sweet i mentioned before?  yeh, total sarcasm. but anyways, despite going through several rounds of friendship bread (that’s what this is by the way, pretty sure i have failed to mention that thus far…) this time last year, and suffering the threats of my roommate, who claimed that she would defenestrate me out the kitchen window if i brought home anymore, i decided to unburden linden of one of her starters and once again go through the delightful joys of starter-rearing. 

for those of you who haven’t been given the gift of friendship bread starters, a little here’s-what’s-up: someone (presumably a friend) hands you a starter, you are to love and nurture and “feed” (egak) it for 10 days, then you divide the starter up into more little starter babies, add some ingredients (including pudding!) to a small portion, bake delicious bread (just oozing with the joys of friendship), and then pass along the extra starters to the next set of unwilling participants friends.  it is kind of like a chain letter in the form of gross smelling, oozing, potentially hundreds-of-years-old plastic yeast baggies.  mmmmm.  love it.

suprisingly, the bread actually does taste really yummy.  beginning today, we shall chronicle my brand new yeast baby’s 10 day life span. so here we go:

what you’ll need: friendship in yeast baggie form

day 1- step 1:  do nothing.

alright, whew, that was hard.  most likely the most difficult baking activity/step that i have ever encountered.

stay tuned for tomorrow….