How to Make Fermented Batter for Amish Cinnamon Bread

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Despite the name, Amish cinnamon bread, or Amish friendship bread as it’s often called, this tasty bread has no connection to the Amish community. One theory is that since the Amish people have a communal nature, and the bread batter, which is called a "starter," is shared with friends, the bread was named after the Amish. Whatever the real reason, you can use this fermented batter to make your own Amish cinnamon bread. You must have patience, though -- it takes 10 days before the batter is ready to be baked.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • Bowl
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Large jar or sealable bag
  • Mix the yeast with a small amount of warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes so it dissolves.

  • Mix equal parts flour and sugar in the large container, then mix in an equal part milk and the dissolved yeast. Mix well to prevent lumps of flour in the batter. A good rule of thumb is to go with 1 cup of each ingredient. This finishes the starter portion, or fermented part, of the batter.

  • Seal the bag or cover the jar with a towel. You will keep it at room temperature for the full 10 day cycle.

  • Stir the fermented batter once daily for the next three days. On the fifth day, you’ll stir in equal parts flour, sugar, and milk. These should be the same amounts you mixed on Day One. Days six through nine are also days where you will just need to stir once a day.

  • Follow your Amish cinnamon bread recipe on the 10th day to bake the bread.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try adding mix-ins to your Amish cinnamon bread for variety. Chopped pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips or even dried fruit can taste delicious.
  • If you want to keep an ongoing batch of batter, simply set aside one cup of starter on the 10th day, and consider that Day One.

References

  • Loaves of Fun: A History of Bread with Activities and Recipes from Around the World; Elizabeth M. Harbison (pg 43-45)
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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