Two months ago, in September, I received an Amish Friendship Bread starter from a coworker and I had no idea how much it would take over my life. This blog might as well be called the "Baking with Amish Friendship Bread Starter Cures" because most things I bake from now on will most likely contain the starter in the batter. But not all things so I'll just stick with my existing blog name.
If you haven't heard of this before, here's how it works. You can make your own starter or receive a cup of starter from somebody (either in plastic container or Ziploc bag). You let the yeast and sugar and such ferment for a couple days and then you feed it with more sugar, self-rising flour, and milk. You let it rest and ferment again and then you have to "burp" it. Then on Day 10 or so, you feed it again and there should be enough now to take out 3 cups of starter, 1 cup in each Ziploc bag. Then you bake Amish Friendship Bread with the remaining starter. Then you get to start all over again with those 3 bags. And if you only gave away one and kept 2 bags for yourself, as I did, you end up with 6 bags of starter and this is when you realize...this is going to become a problem.
After a month of this starter business, I had to figure out another way to get rid of all 6 bags. I was already getting a little sick of it. The best description I heard for this starter is the "chain letter of baking." I made about 6 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread, a sweet bread similar to zucchini bread, and sent them to my parents and my sister at work (her coworkers loved them and they were gone within an hour!). But that only took care of 3 of my 6 bags. What do I do with the remaining 3?!?!?! Then I found the Friendship Bread Kitchen site, the most helpful site ever, and I found a recipe for cinnamon rolls so I had to make it. It only uses 1 cup of starter in the batter but I signed up to bring breakfast one morning at school so I made 2 batches and stuck them in the freezer. At least that's off my to-do list!
This is what I've been up lately since my last post on here. Work has taken over my life quite a bit this year, way more than I'd like, that I can't seem to find the time to cook sometimes even just for myself. The weekends are my baking and cooking times and I have done some baking and churning as well! But this blog slipped my mind and I get lost in my excitement of the food that I forget to share on this blog. I'm hoping that I can squeeze this blog back into my life little by little again and share some great recipes with you. Enjoy this one today and share stories about your experience with the Amish Friendship Bread Starter!
From Friendship Bread Kitchen
For the dough
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread starter
2 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Extra flour to knead
For the cinnamon mixture
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed nuts (optional)
For the frosting
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the starter, flour, and milk in a non-metal bowl. Set aside at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Stir, then add the rest of the dough ingredients and mix well. Pour dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead until dough is no longer sticky. (I used at least 1 extra cup of flour.)
Roll dough onto a rectangular shape with 1/2-inch thickness.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon mixture ingredients.
Lightly brush softened butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle on the cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and pinch to seal the seam. Cut into 1-inch slices. Place on a well-greased cookie sheet and let rest for 30 minutes. When ready, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the frosting ingredients until smooth. Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy!