. So I have a little griping to do. And I don't think I've done this before on here, so just hear me out.
I went running yesterday with Ollie. It was an absolutely beautiful day, around 80°F and close to zero humidity [I couldn't believe it either!]. I don't know what's with Nebraska weather lately, but I'm lovin' it! And so are my feetsies.
Anyway, Ollie and I were keeping a pretty good pace on our normal run route. We started our way up a slight hill when I noticed an older lady coming from the opposite way. She didn't appear to be making any adjustment on the path, so I started to bring Ollie to the grass so we could pass her with ease. Side note, I get nervous that people we pass by are scared of dogs [or something crazy like that], so I always make sure to leave enough room between us. Well lo' and behold, there was a nasty little hole covered in grass that I obviously didn't see. You can guess what happened next. Yep, goodbye ankle!
Embarrassment. Hurt. Annoyance. Giggles. Frustration.
Just a few of the emotions that swept through me as I stood on the path trying to not look like my spill actually hurt.
And so here I sit at home with my bum ankle. It really isn't that bad, I can walk around [with some good lookin' limpin' going on]. And as I've sat on my butt all day, my ankle seems to be a bit better. A little swollen, but it's so much better than even just this morning. Man, oh, man. Stupid body parts. And to think that I was going to run on the treadmill yesterday instead. But hindsight is 20/20, huh?
So you can probably guess that I've been in quite a depressing mood today. I hate the feeling of being helpless. Not that I really am, but even the thought of getting up seems like a lot of work. It's things like this that make me realize how much I take even the simplest things for granted, like walking around normally. But I guess we all need to be woken up every once in a while!
But anyway, blogging felt like a good remedy. And I have the most perfect concoction, a recipe that would brighten up anyone's day. I mean c'mon, 'Friendship' is in the name! Just thinking about it makes me happy.
A couple of weeks ago, a co-worker brought me two large plastic bags filled with a tan goo and a sheet of directions. As I scanned the sheet, I read directions like 'mush the bag', 'day 9', etc. Mush the bag? This thing takes 10 days?! What the hay was he giving me?
The basic explanation I got was that this Amish Friendship Bread was , ah ha, bread, and extremely good. The time period alone of this goodie peaked my interest and so I took it home, and for the next week or so, did exactly what the directions said to.
And on the 10th day [I feel like I'm creating the world], I mixed in the remaining ingredients and bready bliss came out of the oven an hour later.
Seriously, this bread is tops on my list. It is by far the most odd creation I have ever been introduced to [the process, that is] but the product is absolutely heavenly. And what I love even more about this bread are the endless varieties. The bread gets its flavor from pudding packets, so basically what I'm saying is that the number of combinations is only limited to the different flavors of puddings. And when I was at the grocery store, there were shelves of pudding flavors. Oh yeah, and multiply that by any type of add-in your little heart desires. Variety craziness.
For my first attempt, I chose to do the chocolate version [obviously]. The bread had that banana/pumpkin bread texture [which is expected, it is in the end a quick bread!]. But what topped it off was the milk chocolate chips in the bread. And right out of the oven, the chocolate chips were melted and gooey. It's a wonderful thing.
So thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Gunderson for giving me this recipe and allowing me to share it with the blog world! This is a true gem of a find and I will keep this in my repertoire for the rest of my life. Oh, you bet I will!
P.S. the whole story behind Amish Friendship Bread is that the gooey mixture I talked about earlier is actually the starter for the bread. When you go to make the bread, you end up dividing the mixture into separate bags and you're supposed to give them to friends so they can make it, too! Fun, huh? The treat that keeps on giving! .
[Lot'sa] My Notes:
- DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use metal bowls or spoons when making this bread. Don't ask me why, but it's plastered on the directions I was given and also all over the internet.
- When you divide the starter into bags to give to your friends [or keep for yourself], make sure to use large plastic bags, as noted. At the time, I didn't have any large ones so I put the mixture into little sandwich bags. Well, we can ask Robbie how that worked out...hello, starter explosion all over the kitchen counter. Whoops!
- If you don't want to use the starter right away, you can throw it in the freezer and just start where you left off! Nice, huh?
- The other variation noted on my directions sheet was for a cinnamon sugar version. If you want to try this out, simply switch out the chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and the chocolate fudge pudding with vanilla. You'll also need 1/2 cup sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to dust the pans and top of bread with before baking.
- This bread is definitely the best right out of the oven, when the chocolate chips are still melty. Or if you can wait until the next day, the flavors are really able to come out. Mm! Mm! Mm!
- 'Mushing the bag' is simply rubbing the mixture in the bag between your fingers to get everything mixed up. But no need to go crazy or do it for too long, a little mixing is just fine!
- I used a standard 9x5-inch loaf pan, but next time around I will use a little smaller pan. Because the pan was a bit larger, I ended up with loaves a little more flat than I prefer.
Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread
1 (.25 oz.) package active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
2 c. milk, divided
2-1/2 c. sugar, divided
2 c. milk chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3-1/2 c. all purpose flour, divided
1 box chocolate fudge pudding
1. If you don't have the starter, combine yeast, flour, sugar and milk, in large re-sealable plastic bag. Label the bag with the date the starter was created. This classifies as Day 1.
2. Days 2 through 5, mush the bag once per day only.
3. On day 6, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to the bag. Mush the bag.
4. Days 7 through 9 mush the bag once per day only.
5. On day 10, pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 1-1/2 cups milk; mix well.
6. Measure out four 1-cups of batter and place into four separate large re-sealable bags and mark with that day's date. These are the starters you can hand out to friends...or keep for yourself!
7. Heat oven to 325°F. To the remaining batter, add the eggs, oil, applesauce, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, 2 cups flour, and pudding mix. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
8. Grease very well two loaf pans. Pour batter evenly in to pans. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan until bread loosens and comes out evenly.
Yield: 2 loaves