Day 10 = Baking Day

Amish Friendship Bread
Day 6 is feeding day for my live sourdough batter.  Having the baggie sitting on the bench in the kitchen seems like a good idea but can you over-mash the batter?  Seems that everyone who walks past my baggie of bubbling goo has to mash it about a bit.

Fed and watered, or in this instance, fed and milked, I set the baggie on the bench to wait another 4 days until I can begin my baking.  However, there is always a spanner or two that gets into the mechanism.  On Day 7 the Anster arises to find the baggie grew legs overnight and walked right off the bench.  Bother – slimy sweet batter had spilled out of the bag and crept under the dishwasher.  Arggggh……

Luckily there is enough starter left in the baggie to salvage the batch.  While retrieving the batter and squishing it out of the baggie into a lovely clean non-metal bowl, one of our 12 fur/feathered babies sampled the spilled mess on the floor.  It can’t have been too bad as they had themselves a lovely little breakfast.  We will skip right past the mission of getting all the starter out from under the dishwasher…….
Sourdough starter

AFB instructions Days 1-10

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: feed the starter – add 1 cup each of flour, sugar & milk then mash the bag
Day 7: mash the bag
Day 8: mash the bag
Day 9: mash the bag
Day 10: baking day – follow instructions below.

  1. Pour entire contents of baggie into a non-metal bowl.
  2. Add 1 ½ cups each of flour, sugar & milk and mix into starter
  3. Portion out 1 cup of batter into a zip-lock baggie – this is your “give-away starter” baggie. You can prepare 2-3 of these if you want or freeze extra starter in 1 cup portions.
  4. Set aside 1 cup portion of starter to begin a new 10 day cycle.
  5. The remaining starter can be baked with.
  6. A normal cycle of starter will result in about 4 cups of AFB batter.
  7. Leave the batter at room temperature – it is meant to rise & ferment.
  8. If air gets in the bag, let it out or the bag will burst.

Day 10 arrives without further batter mishaps.  In my enthusiasm to get baking I misread the instructions – well actually, I don’t read the instructions at all and miss out a few vital steps. 
Whisk shadow
I blame the printer – steps 3 – 8 were on a new page….. and never mind that I didn’t know steps 1 and 2 were MIA, I just ploughed on ahead and began at step 3.

Needless to say – I didn’t have a lovely big batch of starter with half of it as floorboard spread– I then neglect to feed the remaining saved batter.  Is this bread going to be a success at all? By now I am about ready to chuck the whole lot in the bin and begin again, or better yet, forget this baking and go weed the garden or something useful.

Anyway I portion out 1 cup to carry on as my starter for the second and hopefully more successful cycle.  The remaining batter – all 1 cup of it (here I was expecting around 7-8 cups from my overactive enthusiastic starter) is now my AFB baking beginning. 

I struggle to call this bread – I think that may be an American term as in Banana Bread which we in New Zealand would call Banana Loaf.  It isn’t bread as we know bread and while it is a sourdough starter, it isn’t really sourdough.  The ingredients for the bread are quite straightforward for the original recipe.  Further down the recipe, the original asks for 1-2 boxes of instant pudding mix.  Hmmmm, that doesn’t really sit right for me – here I am using a lovely natural sourdough-type starter and adding something fake and manufactured to it in order to bake a cake. 
Amish Friendship Bread
Instant pudding here in NZ comes in sachets and is a great product for camping and I usually have a couple of sachets in the cupboard as an emergency pudding solution.  Now I know I can make my own pudding mix, and while not so instant, is full of things I am happy to cook with in my food.

I have also rearranged the order of the mixing as I found my batter got very lumpy when adding the flour to it and I had to resort to whisking it with my non-non-metal whisk.  The AFB Kitchen website has an informative FAQ section and it appears that if it is stainless steel, then all is good.  So a-whisking I go to de-lump my batter.

I baked this in one loaf tin and a square cake tin – did the whole cinnamon sugar sprinkling thing over the base of the tin.  Is it the cake I remember? Who knows, I was only about 10 and that was a whole lot of years ago.  Is it a cake to remember?  Mopp thinks so – he ate about 75% of it. 

Amish Friendship Bread (adapted from the Original Recipe)

3 eggs
1 cup sunflower oil
½ cup milk
1 cup sugar
½ t vanilla extract
1 cup of AFB starter
2 cups plain flour
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
2 t ground cinnamon
1 cup butterscotch almond pudding mix
1 cup raisins
½ cup white sugar
1 ½ t cinnamon

Preheat oven 165ºC
Beat together first five ingredients.
Whisk in starter.
Sift in flour, baking powder & soda, salt & spice.
Stir in pudding mix & raisins.
Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over base and sides of two large greased loaf tins.
Divide batter evenly between the two tins.
Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over the tops of the loaves.
Bake until cooked …………approx. 1 hour?
The loaf pulls away from the edges when it is cooked.
Homemade Almond Pudding Mix

Butterscotch Almond Pudding Mix

1 cup whole fat milk powder
2 1/2 cups (500g) brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups (135g) almond meal / ground almonds
1/2 t salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the brown sugar is well combined with the other ingredients.  Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Makes 5 cups.
Use 1/2 cup of pudding mix per box of instant pudding mix

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