Monday, April 4, 2011

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Amish Friendship Bread)

"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." Everyone knows that song, right? Well, did you know the next line?
"A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long I will be your friend." How cute. Or terribly cheesy? But, let me tell you this. If you make this recipe, you will man never-ending circles of friends -- it's a promise!
In fact, I put this song to use and shared this bread with some my silvers and some of my golds. I went through the process twice. The first time, I shared it with longtime soccer friends, and more recently, I shared it with fellow blogger Kath, from!  Amish Friendship bread is not an difficult recipe, per se, but it does take up a decent amount of time.
The process is ten days. Yes, you read correctly. Ten days of mostly mushing the bag but ten days none-the-less. Your end product is four bags to pass to friends and two wonderful sweet loaves of cinnamon bread (raisins optional) to share... or maybe not.
But please, don't be intimidated by the ten days. Go through the process just once, and you will be able to tell with every bite that this bread was made with good intention and love.

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Amish Friendship Bread)
For the Starter Bread
1(1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk

Baking Day Ingredients
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 (5 1/8 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup raisins

Coating Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar and mix thoroughly so flour will not lump.
2. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will begin to get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter bag.
3. For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions below:

Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2: Mush the bag.
Day 3: Mush the bag.
Day 4: Mush the bag.
Day 5: Mush the bag.
Day 6: Add to the bag- 1 cup each: plain flour, sugar, milk, and mush well.
Day 7: Mush the bag.
Day 8: Mush the bag.
Day 9: Mush the bag.
Day 10: (Baking Day) Follow instructions below:

4. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a large non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups plain flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 c milk and mix well.
5. Lable four large ziploc freezer bags with the date and Day 1. Fill each of the four bags with 1 cup of batter. These are the "starter bags" to give out to friends. Give friends a bag and a copy of this recipe. Remember, if you don't keep one for yourself you will have to wait until someone gives you a starter batter again, or repeat the yeast process.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and to the remaining batter, add the Baking Day Ingredients (above). Grease bottom and sides sides of 2 large loaf pans (you may use metal here)with cooking spray. Mix coating ingredients together and dust the insides of each pan with it, making sure to cover sides and bottom of each pan well. Pour batter evenly into the 2 loaf pans and sprinkle any remaining coating mix on the top of the batter.
7. Bake approximately 1 hour until toothpick comes out clean. Cool until bread loosens from the pan easily. Turn onto serving dish or wire rack.

The Messie Kitchen Important Notes:

  • Do not use ANY metal spoon bowl or pan throughout the process EXCEPT your loaf pans.
  • Do not refridgerate your starter bag.
  • If it gets full of air, let it out. The batter will rise, bubble and ferment almost every day so keep an eye on it.
  • You can go over by a day or two to feed your batter or bake your bread, but you cannot do it early.


Krissy said...

This sounds amazing! Definitely going to try it!! =D

Marci said...

I've heard of this bread! A lot of people share the recipe parts with neighbors. Interesting, looks really good.

Jess said...

I grew up in the heart of Lancaster County (Amish Country) and I did this with friends growing up! I want to do it again now! SO fun to see this recipe!

Anonymous said...

I'm sooo going to do this! I wonder how to find people that would actually use the starter...haha :)

Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie said...

I've always wanted to try this bread! I keep waiting for someone to send me a starter since I'm too impatient to make it myself:)

scrambledhenfruit said...

I used to have one of those starters- it made such yummy breads! I may have to try it again. :)