Most people are surprised to discover that one cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter can make a lot more than a couple of loaves of sugar-cinnamon bread. As you’ve probably discovered in my Recipe Box, there are LOTS of things you can make, and this crusty chewy artisan Amish Friendship Bread loaf is one of them.
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Fresh homemade bread is so much easier to make than people think, and it’s better for you, too, because there aren’t any preservatives and it hasn’t been sitting around for a couple of days or even weeks, waiting for someone to buy it.
Kitchen Friend Heidi Kleyn came up with this wonderful recipe for an artisan loaf (it yields two loaves, actually) that will remind you of your favorite crusty sourdough bread, with that subtle Amish Friendship Bread sweet-sour tang. A special thanks to Kitchen Friend Cathy Wagner List for sharing photos of her bread as well.
This recipe uses commercial yeast in addition to the leavening power of your starter. We’re not the only ones — Cook’s Illustrated also adds yeast to sourdough recipes to give their breads a little boost. This is especially helpful if you want to bake bread in the winter or if your kitchen is cool, as traditional starters go dormant in cooler temperatures.
Crusty Artisan Amish Friendship Bread
- In a stand mixer bowl with dough hook, add starter.
- Pour water on top and sprinkle on the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add salt and flour, gradually.
- In the stand mixer, blend on low for 5 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides and forms into a nice ball.
- Oil a glass bowl, one large enough to handle a double rising of the dough.
- Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap to let double for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
- Sprinkle flour on work surface and add risen dough.
- Sprinkle a 16″ x 12″ pan with cornmeal.
- Cut dough in half.
- Place dough side-by-side on pan, but not touching.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven 425° F (218° C).
- After 1 hour, lightly sprinkle dough with flour.
- Cut a tic-tac-toe pattern on top of dough with a very sharp serrated knife.
- Place pan in middle of oven.
- Quickly spray water inside the top of the oven. It’s okay if some water gets on the dough.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. While baking, spray water again after baking 10 minutes and again at 20 minutes.
- Check for doneness: the bread should be brown on top and dark brown on the bottom. Thump the top of the bread to hear an echo, hollow sound. Cool on wire racks
>> Have you tried this recipe? Give the recipe some stars and leave a comment below and let us know how it worked for you!