Friday, December 21, 2007

AMISH Friendship Starter Diary

Croissant and Cinnamon Roll.

The basic Amish Friendship Starter Bread recipe can be found at:

Follow the recipe steps and modify as necessary. As you gain experience you can add the starter in place of the dry yeast to bake all kinds of wonderful home made breads and other favorite goodies.
Here is of mine to share:
This is how the Starter looks like between Day1 through 5.
Bubbly and plastic will expand almost like a balloon.
Be sure to keep the plastic Closed.
Do not refrigerate. There is no reason to.
Day 1 thru 5

The starter will develop into foamy bubbles at the top.
It develops pungent smell - very normal.
No discoloration, however that I have ever noticed.
Every day, pop open the plastic and carefully with your hand, just knead gently around the the plastic to subside the foam and bubbles -- basically just squeeze the plastic bag with top open a few times - every day - squeeze the plastic bag all around. You should be able to tell which part of dough is more liquidy and others drier. So, use your hand and with "open close" hand motions to mix the starter well. Be sure to close the bag.

On day 10, it's time to prepare and mix the starter with your favorite ingredients.
Be aware that it has been taking minimum of 12 hours for the dough to complete the first rise at 65Degree room temperature.
A pot of warm water is used as well to aid in rising.

If you do not have anyone to share the Starter on the 10th day and you want to continue keeping the starter for the next baking, you can adjust the Day 10's ingredient feedings to the Starter - Flour, Sugar, and Milk mixture measurement to 1/4 Cup each rather than 1 Cup each.

Amish Sourdough Bread recipe posted at the web site posted above is very easy to make. I will change the amount of flour from 6 Cups to 4 Cups, and use melted butter rather than the "oil".
Some recipe variations to try:
1. 2 Cups Starter
2. 6 TBsp Sugar
3. 4 Cups Flour
4. 1 Cup warm milk and 1/4 Cup melted Unsalted Butter
5. 2 Eggs plus 1 Egg Yolk ---Keep the Egg White for egg white wash for bread.
6. 1 tsp salt
7. Optional - 1/2 Cup Coconut Powder.

Mix all ingredients and Knead well - about 10 minutes.
The dough should be very soft to the touch.
Brush a full teaspoon of oil in a large plastic container with a lid. The dough is almost difficult to handle without additional flour, but do not add extra flour.
Let it rise over night. When the dough doubles in size, punch down and make it into variety of shapes.
Place the shaped dough on top of non-stick baking pan with lips/sides.
Let it rise again till double.
Preheat oven to 325 - 350 degrees.
Prepare egg white and 1TBsp of water. Beat it up to mix water and egg white.
Use a pastry brush to brush egg white wash on raised dough.
Enjoy watching the wonderful bread turn into golden brown.
Depending on the size of the bread - 12 to 20 minutes of baking time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

AMISH Friendship - Bread Diary

I was given a bag of Amish Friendship Starter about a month ago. I tried four different recipes thus far and these are the favorites:

1. Banana Bread
2. Bundt Pan Bread and Cup cake size bread with Raisin, Cinnamon, or plain dinner roll.

3. Coconut Mango Bread

4. Sour Dough Bread

Texture and Taste Results:

1. Banana Bread - Excellent. Cake like. Banana gave the bread the moisture without Instant pudding mix and Applesauce that the recipe calls for.

2. Bundt Pan Bread and Cup cake size bread with Raisin - So, So. Very Dense and Heavy Bread without Banana or Instant pudding mix and Applesauce. I t is very filling to last several hours.

3. Coconut Mango Bread - Very good. Tasty. Using Dehydrated Mango was a good idea. Coconut powder gave the bread the just right amount of flavor--just enough to wonder where are the coconut flakes.

4. Sour Dough Bread - Very good, but its more like Hawaiian sweet bread than the sour dough.

Photo Journal:

And here is the photo journal of how the Amish Friendship Sour Dough Bread was made.
Hot Dog buns or the home made submarine sandwich bread turned out very tasty.

Mixing the Starters with ingredients without using any "metal" utensils is one of the challenge. That means - no electric mixer; unless, you have a set of beaters made of "wood"?

After proofing the dough overnight --- till doubled in size; roll the dough into shape and let it rise again for another 8 hours.

Brush it with egg white and water wash before baking at 325 degrees
for about15 to 20 minutes.

These are Sour Dough Breads, Cinnamon Rolls, Dinner Rolls - with raisin in the Bundt Mini-Muffin pan.
They turned out to be toooo dry. Likely need less time to bake them.

The best part of all these baking is that there are no preservatives. All ingredients uses were premium quality available - butter, organic milk, organic eggs.

The "Sour Dough Bread" turned out beautifully.
They tasted more like sweet bread than "Sour Dough".

Bon Appetite!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Canneles de Polly Test Success

**Use "Canneles de Bordeaux" recipe from Foodnetwork.,,FOOD_9936_27405,00.html?rsrc=search

After baking 27 batches of Cannelles de Bordeaux in the year 2006, I had maybe 5 satisfactory results.    All other 22 times were exciting and delicious adventures.
The most difficult part of making Cannelles or Canneles is the Baking.   But there are few others that matters...
I always try to imagine how the nuns in Bordeaux, France would have been preparing and baking Canneles in the old days mixing ingredients, preparing canneles molds--with butter and beeswax mixture, rum...why refrigeration, keep the eggs from spoiling?  or during its minimum 12-hours setting in refrigerator -- 'supposedly' curing....hmmm, very interesting.    I will leave the scientific part of what Rum is doing with Eggs and Sugar and Flour to FoodNetwork's Alton Brown, but here is my result for Year 2007, Batch 5 -- The Perfect Home Baked Canneles.

Materials to Gather:
  1. Timer Clock
  2. Gas Oven - the test completed in Large GE Gas Range Oven.
  3. 2 Large Tray with sides - to keep "butter and beeswax" from spilling out to the bottom of oven to prevent fire. or 1 Large Tray with Sides, 1 Medium Tray with Side.
  4. Cooling Rack set on top of Cookie Sheet to catch extra dripping "butter & beeswax"
  5. Extra Tray with Sides for Unmolding process Canneles before transferring to Cooling Rack
  6. Sturdy Tong that you can lift Copper Canneles Mold. Strong enough to allow you to flip the Copper Canneles Mold over.
  7. Empty mason jar to store Extra "butter & beeswax" for next use.
  8. Pastry brush just for Canneles baking stored in plastic ziplock bag in refrigerator.
  9. 18 Copper tin lined Canneles Molds or 15 minimum.
  10. Edible, clean Natural Beeswax -- not from Candle.   No color added and No chemical used during making into Beeswax block.    Buy it from Sacramento Bees store at
  11. FAN to keep kitchen and home cool during summer as you will be baking at 445'F
  12. Flour and; Cake Flour
  13. A Strainer; Container with Cover or plastic wrap to cover the container -- glass or plastic
  14. Myers Dark Rum
  15. Vanilla Paste or purchase Vanilla Beans at Import/Export at a good price

The following ingredients are the "Control" items and based on Double Batch Recipe I prepared. Modify as needed, but do not change the sugar amount--more is Okay, but not less.

Recipe Modification --**for Double Batch Recipe:

  1. Sugar - Increase Sugar to 1-1/2 Cup.
  2. Eggs - Safeway's Organic "Large" Egg - 3 eggs. (If Double Batch Recipe - use 5 eggs Plus 1 egg yolk. ) **If Truly using Extra Large Eggs as FoodNetwork recipe calls for, and; they do weigh in to be Extra Large, then, 2 eggs + 1 yolk.
  3. Flour - 1-1/2 Cup but--its half Regular Flour, half Cake Flour
  4. Follow the FoodNetwork's recipe instruction in how to mix the ingredients.
  5. Space each Canneles 1-1/2 Inches apart from each other.
  6. Preheat oven to 445'F
  7. **Melt beeswax and butter over low heat. I use a dedicated small Pyrex "glass" saucepan with Silverstone coating.
  8. Place one oven rack at the Highest slot at the top.
  9. Place second one in 3rd slot from the top.
  10. Start your timer and start baking for 1 hour 20 min to 30 min.
  • At 1 hour into the baking, Swap Bottom tray to the Top and Top tray to the Bottom rack.
  • Before the end of 1 hour 20 minutes, using sturdy metal tong take one canneles out.
  • The Canneles should be Dark Chocolate Brown Color--Not Golden Brown.
  • Carefully Flip it Over to Receiving Tray (tray with sides). You will see extra 'butter and beeswax' pour out from the bottom of the mold.
  • Visually check its overall color. Dark Chocolate Brown--all around? but not burnt.
  • ***It should not be Jiggly like Jello - it means the Caramelization has not occurred yet.
  • Place it back into the mold and bake it longer.
  • If it feels sturdy, dark chocolate brown, Bake 10 more minutes if you would like or take one tray out---work one tray at a time.
Turn Canneles upside down, let extra 'butter and beeswax' to pour out.

Remove the mold and set it to one side of the tray.
Let Canneles cool in Receiving tray for a minute or two---Then,
Transfer it to the cooling rack.

Keep distance from each other 1-1/2 Inches apart or more to allow Caramelization to crystallize.

As Canneles cools on the rack, the Canneles' outer shell will start to form--Crunchy.

Crunchy outside, but Creamy inside.


Saturday, March 03, 2007


Photo Journal of Adventure in Making MARRONS GLACÉS
Crystallized/Glazed Chestnut

1. Purchase Chestnuts in Premium Condition. Wash and Boil until Done.
2. Keep Boiled Chestnuts in Warm water Until All Peelings are Finished.   Remove as much veins as possible without breaking chestnuts apart.
3.  Cooked chestnuts is soft and semi-translucent.  When crushed between fingers, leaves somewhat powderly texture.
 4. Pots to prepare Sugar Syrup with Rum or liqueur.   A Shallow Baking Pan for Syrup Bath.   Another Shallow Baking Pan with Cooling Rack to Dry Marrons Glacés on.

5. Carefully transfer peel chestnuts into baking pan and pour prepared Syrup to cover the chestnuts.   Soak Chestnuts overnight.

6. Day 2 -- Carefully transfer each well soaked Chestnut onto Cooling Rack to start Drying Process.
7. Day 3 -- Carefully transfer each Dried Chestnut back to bathe in Syrup for several hours.
8. Day 3 -- Transfer each Chestnut to Cooling Rack to Dry

9.  Once the Marrons Glacés are Dried, they are ready to eat or packaged individually and stored in air tight container.
10. Save crumbled bits and pieces of Chestnuts and Syrup in a tight covered jar.  Serve it over Ice Cream or any Favorite Dessert Dishes and explore its possible use. Enjoy!

Summary:  On my next adventure in this Marrons Glacés II making, the preparation methods resulted in better looking Marrons Glacés.  Of course, the practices make it perfect, too.  The finishing texture is much desirable than this preparation method when the cooked and peeled chestnuts were heated through in the prepared syrup as prescribed.
So, hope you will check the other Marrons Glacés journal and find out for yourself.

Wondering how the commercial Marrons Glacés looks like? Here is the Link:

Links to Recipe:
Here is an interesting recipe you might want to try:

For recipe with better result, please check out my other blog on Marrons Glaces Part Deux at