Monday, February 27, 2012

friendship bread

Yes, the notorious, delicious, friendship bread. Or shall we say, "fiendship" bread? Don't get me wrong: I love my friends. I love to bake. Friendship bread, though, is a little much for me.

Maybe you haven't heard of it. Here's how it works:
Your friend gives you an innocuous looking bag of batter that, over the course of 10 days, you allow to ferment, adding milk, sugar, and flour to increase the amount of batter. On day 10, you divide the batter between four bags, keeping one for yourself, and giving the others away. This batter is called "starter."

This can quickly get out of hand if you're not on top of the baking every 10th day thing.

So, being the resourceful grad student I am, I decided to use all the starter to bake over break. Ta-da!

First, I made the "classic" friendship bread. But you know me - I just can't stick to the printed recipe if I think I can make it better! One of my goals was to use up the batter as quickly as possible, too, so I doubled the recipe. Here's the recipe, with my changes:

my version (original)
Set the oven at 350 degrees F. Grease four (two) loaf pans. Mix 1/4 c. granulated sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon, then dust the pans with half the sugar mixture. Reserve the rest of the sugar mixture.

In a large bowl mix:
6 eggs (3)
1 c. vegetable oil (1 c.- no doubling)
2 c. granulated sugar (1 c.)
4 tsp. cinnamon (2 tsp.)
3 tsp. baking powder (1.5 tsp)
1 tsp. salt (1/2 tsp.)
4 c. flour (2 c.)
no pudding (1 large or 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding)
2 c. starter (1 c.)

Mix well, until no lumps remain. Pour equal amounts of batter into each loaf pan, sprinkling the tops with the reserved cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake 1 hour, remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. Mine came out a little crunchy on the outside, and I like that. Maybe bake yours at a lower temperature, or for less time, if you don't want the crunch.

That was delicious!

On to recipe # 2: Snicker doodles. I found the recipe here and didn't make any changes to it. Helpful hint: be sure to use real butter, and that the butter is soft enough to stir easily if you're going to mix by hand, as I did! I cut the butter into pieces, and then added the sugar and eggs, creaming the mixture. Then, I added the starter and gradually added the flour mixture. So yummy!

At this point, it was dinner time, and my dear friend, Nicki, called me. We chatted for an hour, and I abandoned all plans of using the last cup of starter. It was actually rather freeing to toss it in the trash can...

But, now I have (so many) cookies and four loaves of tasty sweet bread! Anyone want to come over for tea?

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