A coworker of mine gave me some live yeast bread starter two weekends ago, and I have proceeded to actually bake it into bread. This is, believe me, quite out of character. I am posting this recipe here (which, as far as I know, is relatively useless without the culture) both for my records and so I have a place to point people who need the recipe and may not want a printed copy, perhaps because they are, like me, allergic to paper.
If you live in Boston, I’m happy to provide you with some starter for free (I hear it’s like a cult); I’ll have 3-4 become available every week and a half or so.
I don’t know the origin of the recipe; Liz gave me a photocopied sheet with no authorship information. I’ll try to find out. I’ve made a few minor edits for my own clarification.
I’m also open to suggestions on a means of distribution other than plastic gallon ziploc bags; while they have the advantage of being air tight, and clearly indicating when the bag needs to be squeezed, it seems like a waste of plastic. I am reusing the ones I’ve received, and the ones I’m keeping for my own permanent starter, but it seems like there might be a better way.
- Do NOT refrigerate the mixture (this will kill the yeast)
- Air formation in the bag is normal (a byproduct of fermentation)
- “Squeeze” means let the air out, and mix the starter a bit by squishing
For each day, from the date marked on the starter, do the listed step:
- Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze.
In a large bowl, combine the batter with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mix.
Partition 1 cup of starter into four 1 gallon ziploc bags. Pass along to friends and family, along with a copy of these instructions or a link to this blog post: http://blog.ultranurd.net/2009/03/15/amish-cinnamon-bread/
Add to the remaining batter in the bowl:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
In another bowl, mix 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp sugar (or just use cinnamon-sugar if you have it). Sprinkle this into the bottom of two well-greased bread pans, then add the batter.
Bake the loaves at 325° for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.