Wednesday, January 26, 2011
You Can't Mess Up Friendship Bread - Trust me, I tried
I feel like the walls in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. If you watched the movie, the walls turned from a vibrant red to a dreary sad gray when he left. I miss my husband! (Not that he in any way resembles Mr. Magorium, I just found it an adequate analogy). Each year my husband and his father go on a "Father/Son" hunting trip where they go shoot things somewhere in the world while I stay home and shop, faux paint the kitchen or refinish a piece of furniture I purchased. I am fully supportive of this trip and think that a strong Father/Son bond is so important. I just miss him. He's such a part of my life that I feel like my arm is missing when he's not around. Friday can't come soon enough.
The boys and I have been doing just fine - I've tried to do something special with them each day to help the week pass by a little more quickly. We bought more fish for my 4 year old's fish tank (we keep having casualties for some reason). So, four more fish and a snail named Sherman are our additional new pets (Um, make that 3 new fish, the $.38 goldfish didn't make it).
This week I've completely flaked out in the food area (What?! The musing foodie isn't gourmet all the time?!) Nope. I fixed a pot roast with veggies and we're eating it all week. That's how much I miss him. Can you tell? By the time Friday arrives, I'll never want to eat a pot roast again.
Now onto this crazy Amish Friendship Bread I've been talking about in prior posts. It seems to surface every couple of years and is all the rage, until people get sick of it and throw it away. If you're not familiar with the concept, there is a 'starter' that gets handed to you by someone you know (I don't take starter from strangers, it's weird). A gallon sized plastic bag of cream colored ooze is the starter and you have a 10 day process to make this sweet bread...it's got a cinnamon breakfast bread taste and is quite good! Smelling much like sourdough, each day you have a 'task' to do. Several days in a row you just squeeze the bag and let out any excess gas that may have built up in the bag. Easy enough - my kids love the squeezing part.
Mid way through the process you add milk, flour and sugar...then you go another few days of squeezing and finally you add the fun stuff - oil, flour, sugar, vanilla pudding, cinnamon...etc. It makes a LOT of batter/dough and from this you pull 4 cups out, putting them in 1 cup portions in 4 separate freezer bags and hand them out to friends who want to take on the 10 day challenge. You're left with several loaves of bread or muffins if you give all your starters away. If you keep one, you start the process over again and bake again in 10 days. Well, after a few weeks of this you do get a bit tired of it, you've run out of friends and hate to throw away good ingredients. This is where my epiphany hit.
I wanted to see if this could be messed up in anyway - I put the starter in the freezer for a year and a half (it still baked up fine). I went more than 3 days before adding in more ingredients (it still worked). I manipulated the time table every way possible and this is a fool-proof recipe. You can't mess it up.
So, we baked 2 loaves of bread and a dozen muffins last night and the loaves are being frozen for a homeless mission that needs baked goods and the muffins are being devoured for breakfasts. How perfect is this? Now, who needs starter? I've got bags of ooze sitting on my counter....