Why Am I Drippings With Goo?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is why I don't like to bake. Somehow, I always end up with a much greater mess, both on myself and all over the kitchen, when engaged in baking, that in just about any other form of culinary jujitsu.

I actually do most of the cooking in our house, but I normally leave the baking to my wife. She has a much more defined sweet-tooth than I, and so thus appreciates the baked goods more than I as well. But she has reached a point in her pregnancy, combined with high blood pressure and pre-pregnancy-back-problems, that she can no longer stay on her feet long enough to complete a baking project.

And here we were stuck with two Amish Friendship Bread starters. And yes, before anyone mentions it -- I know that Amish Friendship Bread was not Actually started by the Amish.

So, my wife suggested that I make bread out of our two starters. Knowing that I have a tendency to "stray" from recipes and conduct "experiments" when I cook, she thought I would be more inclined to bake if I knew that there were countless variations to the original Amish Friendship Bread that I could attempt.

Well, she was right. When I first heard her suggestion to make the bread myself, I mustered just enough enthusiasm to not sound like the ungrateful-husband-of-a-pregnant-lady-who-still-thinks-his-wife-should-be-in-the-kitchen-kind-of-guy. But upon her suggestion, I Googled for "Amish Friendship Bread Variations".

Ah, the beauty.

With several thousand resources returned for ways to make "unique" Amish Bread, I was more intrigued. Unfortunately, while we had the basic necessary ingredients (eggs, flour, sugar, etc.), we did not just happen to have all the ingredients necessary for many of these variations -- at least not the most interesting sounding ones. So after comparing what we did have in the pantry with numerous variations, true to form, I decided to experiment.

That's one more thing I don't like about baking. If I'm cooking something on the stove-top, and I throw in a little of this and some more of that, I can taste it as I am going to ensure that its not entirely awful. Unfortunately, when baking, I will just have to wait 'til it comes out to see if its edible or not.

The loaves of Bread are baking as I type. I might be tempted to taste-test when they emerge from the oven, but it's already way past my bedtime, so it is likely that they won't be quality controlled until morning. Besides, my wife (who crashed two hours ago) is much more the connoisseur of these sorts of things, and can give a much better assessment than I. We will be sure to leave comments to this post after giving the Breads due consideration.

For the record (in case it turns out worth repeating - or if not, then perhaps a warning of what not to try), here is what I did to the Bread:

Quadruple Chocolate
Amish Friendship Bread

  • Omit the cinnamon

  • Omit the Vanilla Extract

  • Substitute 1 box of Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix instead of the Vanilla

  • add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

  • After mixing up the batter, instead of sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on the bottom and sides of the greased loaf pans, sprinkle 1/4 of a jar of Chocolate Jimmies on the bottom and sides of each pan (using a total of 1/2 of the jar)

  • Pour in the batter, and sprinkle the remaining Chocolate Jimmies on the tops of the two loaves.

White Chocolate Raspberry
Amish Friendship Bread

  • Omit the Cinnamon

  • Substitute a box of White Chocolate Instant Pudding for the vanilla

  • add 1 cup mini-marshmallows

  • After mixing up the batter, instead of sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on the bottom and sides of the greased loaf pans, sprinkle 1/2 box of raspberry jello powder on the bottom and sides of the greased loaf pans (using the whole box between the two pans)

  • Pour in the batter, and sprinkle another box of raspberry jello over the tops of the two loaves.

My Crazy Loaves of Amish Friendship Bread


Eric said...

Here's the initial verdict:
You can't really go wrong with chocolate. I once read a rule that you can improve any recipe by adding bacon or doubling the garlic -- I think the equivalent baking maxim would be "add chocolate". The Quadruple Chocolate is very chocolate-y, and good.
I personally though, prefer the White Chocolate one, as it is not quite as sweet. If anyone decides to duplicate this, I would recommend not putting the raspberry jello on the "short sides" of the pan. The jello has a little bite, which I find pleasant with the bread, except on the heals where the entire piece is covered with the jello, and that is a bit much -- so perhaps just not putting the jello on the heal sides of the pan would alleviate that problem.

Cathy said...

My official verdict:
You're absolutely right, you can't go wrong with the chocolate. The smells that woke me at nearly 1 in the morning, were totally right on, I should've gone ahead and sampled then. It's almost like a chocolate cake! It was YUM-O! Don't change a thing!
As for the White Chocolate Raspberry. Also very good. Keep the bread base. True, it's not as sweet, but it has a smoothness that the regular cinnamon version does not have probably from the white chocolate and marshmallows. I'm not a fan of the Jello though. The bread can stand alone, just a flour siding will work fine. The Jello doesn't have enough sugar, so it burnt rather than glazed. Plus, it kind of gives it a tart taste, especially in the corners, a tartness that stayed with me a while...not a fan. My recommendation would be to use fresh or frozen raspberries in it, or just on top...or maybe some raspberry jam across the top, or inside as a ribbon may do the trick to give it better raspberry-ness.

Cathy said...

Oh, I also meant to say, you are a Good Baker! You can bake for me anytime! I'll still Eat 'Em!

Justin Smith said...

Wow, the white chocolate raspberry was amazing!

Eric said...

Ok - here's the final outcome -- I brought one loaf of each to work this morning, the White Chocolate Raspberry was gone by 11am (and only two slices of the Quadruple Chocolate had been eaten at that point). It was nearly 4:30 before the Quadruple Chocolate was finished off. I think the "masses" have spoken!

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