It weaves friendship in a unique way by stinking. The day it arrived I greeted it with love. I placed it on the kitchen counter with care. Every two hours, I would pay a visit and stare at it lovingly, making sure that nothing’s wrong in its growth.
The next three days I ruthlessly mashed it. On the 6th day, I again changed my avatar and fed it some flour, sugar, and milk. It got confused seing the change. It hoped things have changed for the good. But I proved it wrong again. For the next 3 days, I again mashed it. By the 10th day, it was clueless and scared. So, when I poured it in a bowl it had no clue what would happen next.
Ever since Bee announced that she was sending some scary, smelly things in the mail, I was anticipating their arrival. Wondering what I should bake with the special batter, I paid a visit to the local library. My hand fell upon a book that's a gem for amateur and professional bakers. As I turned page after page, delicious recipes for cakes, muffins, pies, tarts, and cookies greeted my eyes. The book I am talking about is Better Homes and Gardens: Old Fashioned Home Baking. There were so many recipes to choose from that I soon got confused. As the 10th day for processing the batter approached, I finally settled on one recipe. For all those who have received the starter, Nupur has provided the schedule to be followed. Here's my little experiment with the Amish Friendship starter.
Cranberry nut upside down muffins
(Adapted from Better Homes and Garden: Old Fashioned Home Baking)
Yields: 12 muffins
- Grease twelve muffin cups or line them with paper bake cups. Set muffin cups aside.
- In a small covered saucepan, cook 1 1/2 cup cranberries and 3/4 cup sugar over low heat just till the mixture starts to form juice. Stir frequently. Uncover and heat to boiling, stirring from time to time. Boil gently, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or till the berries pop. Stir in 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I didn't have nutmeg. I added 1/4 tsp cardamom powder). Divide the cranberry mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Set the muffin cups aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl stir together 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup chopped nuts, 2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Make a well in the centre of this mixture.
- In another bowl combine 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup cooking oil, and 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel. Add the egg mixture all at once in the dry mixture. Stir till just moistened. Batter should be lumpy while making muffins. Spoon batter on top of the cranberry mixture in the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
- Preheat oven to 400degrees.
- After pre-heating, bake the muffins at 400degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.
- To remove muffins from cups, invert them into wire rack or a dish.
Recipe using Amish Friendship starter
- Step 1 and 2 are same as above.
- Step 3: In a medium mixing bowl stir together 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, 1/3 cup chopped nuts, 2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Make a well in the centre of this mixture.
- Step 4: In another bowl combine 1 cup Amish starter, 1 beaten egg, 2/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup cooking oil, and 1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel. Add the egg mixture all at once in the dry mixture. Stir till just moistened. Batter should be lumpy while making muffins. Spoon batter on top of the cranberry mixture in the muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
- Steps 5-8 remain the same as above.
Verdict: Super tasty! Super moist! Delicious. Warm. Perfect. We soon ran out of words to describe them. We savoured each bite, filled with different tastes of cranberries, lemon peel, nuts, and the sweet batter.
As for the Amish friendship starter, it sure is weaving friendships all across blogosphere. Jai and Bee's special way of sending the batter moved me to tears. For a minute I wondered why did these people send me so much love? They hardly know me. But then I smiled and thought, there are still some people who go out of thier way to treat others special.
Passing the starter: I am passing this starter to:
- Shilpa: For her enthusiasm in baking and taking her decorating skills to a new level.
- Sharmi: For doing an excellent job with the JFI: Rice round-up.
- To a local friend B who loves cooking and baking.
- To my Wilton cake decorating class instructor, Veronica for being an excellent guide and mentor:)
Fellow blogger's outstanding experiments with the Amish Friendship starter:
- Mandira: Banana and raisins bread
- Nupur: Chocolate-Pecan Friendship Bread
- Suganya: Pineapple cherry bread
- Linda: Mixed up muffins
- Jai and Bee: Friendship Chelsea Buns
- Rajitha: Parker house soft dinner rolls
- Shilpa: Almond cookies
- Cynthia: Friendship breads
- Sharmi: Coconut and walnut bread
- Sig: Pumpkin loaf
- Lavanya: Salara
If you have baked something using the Amish starter, please leave a comment in this post and I will update the list.