Amish Friendship Bread Pumpkin Scones

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The Sweet Precision Kitchen is up and running at my new location in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Matt and I spent the past two weekends getting settled into our new space. This included combining our pots and pans and deciding what things need to go… or stay in many cases. Although this might sound like a simple process, it definitely involved some compromises.

This post marks the continuation of my Amish Friendship Bread baking challenge. For those of you that are new to this, Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread made from a sourdough starter that is shared in a manner similar to a chain letter. The starter is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads and shared with friends. My goal with this baking challenge is to keep my starter going for an entire year. If you need a recipe for the starter, you can find one here.

This recipe for pumpkin scones is a delicious treat. In reality, the scones turn out more like a cross between a muffin and a cookie. Since fall is around the corner I thought I’d get a head start on a fun pumpkin recipe. Don’t worry there will be many more to come!

Amish Friendship Bread Pumpkin Scone Recipe

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Ingredients
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chilled butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of dry mixture; set aside. In another bowl combine starter, pumpkin and egg. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. Knead in butterscotch chips.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Shape into 4” x 12” rectangle. Cut rectangle into quarters (4” x 3”) and cut each piece on the diagonal to form 8 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If you find that the dough is sticking to your fingers, try adding additional flour to the mixture one tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, you can also try coating your fingers with some vegetable shortening.

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Rosemary Lemon Amish Friendship Bread

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This month my Amish Friendship Bread baking challenge took a new twist. I purchased some mini bundt bans at the store over the weekend, and wanted to put them to use right away. I figured if you can make Amish Friendship Bread in loaf pans and muffin tins—why not use a mini bundt pan?

Now that spring is in the air and it appears warmer weather is around to stay, it’s time to experiment with fresh springtime flavors. I decided to use a recipe that has hints of lemon and rosemary—two flavors that make me think of warmer weather. Typically you might think of these two flavors paired together for a savory dish such as chicken. I decided to pair them together in this bread recipe for a unique twist. The frosting drizzled over the top is the final touch that pulls everything together at the end.

If you’re interested in other Amish Friendship Bread recipes that I’ve tried this year, feel free to check out my Traditional Cinnamon Bread and Chocolate Cherry Almond Bread. Three recipes down and nine more to come… stay tuned!

Rosemary Lemon Amish Friendship Bread Recipe 

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Bread Ingredients
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
3 eggs
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 small box lemon instant pudding

Lemon Glaze Ingredients
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Dash of lemon extract

Directions
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed. Grease mini bundt pans and dust with flour. Pour the batter evenly into mini bundt pans until slightly less than 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Mix ingredients for lemon glaze and drizzle over the top once cooled. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or lemon rind.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
This recipe yields a lovely and wonderfully moist bread. I used lemon pudding but if you’re not a fan of lemon, I’d recommend using 1 box vanilla pudding and eliminating the vanilla extract.

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Chocolate Cherry Almond Amish Friendship Bread

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This post marks the second installation of my Amish Friendship Bread baking challenge. As a part of this challenge, I’ve committed to baking one recipe each month using my Amish Friendship Bread Starter. For those of you that are new, Amish Friendship Bread is made from a sourdough starter and is shared in a manner similar to a chain letter. The starter is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads and shared with friends.

I learned an important lesson during this round of baking. There isn’t an exact science behind baking this bread—gasp! As I was chatting with my mom on the phone this week, we realized that there were several variations on the traditional recipe. Some called for two cups of the starter, while others only called for one. Some called for two small packages of pudding, while others called for one large package. For someone that embraces precision, this was hard for me to accept! Regardless, the important takeaway for you is that you can feel free to experiment with your Amish Friendship Bread.

Today’s recipe is a unique twist on the traditional cinnamon flavored bread. With the additions of chocolate pudding, cherries, and almonds, this recipe is moist and full of flavor. The almonds pair beautifully with the cherries and chocolate.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Amish Friendship Bread
Adapted from Friendship Bread Kitchen 

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Ingredients
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding
1 cup maraschino cherries,  drained
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

Directions
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

In a medium-sized bowl mix Amish Friendship Bread starter, eggs, oil, milk, and almond extract. In a large bowl mix sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, and pudding. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in cherries and almonds.

Grease two large loaf pans and dust with a sugar-cocoa mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder. Pour the batter evenly into the pans. Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
If you have a problem with ingredients (think cherries or almonds) sinking to the bottom of your batter, try tossing them with a tablespoon of flour before adding to the batter. You can also try chopping them up into larger pieces. If all else fails, try reducing the liquid content of your batter. For instance, you could leave out one egg or add 2-3 tablespoons of flour.

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Cinnamon Amish Friendship Bread

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For those of you that haven’t been exposed to Amish Friendship Bread, let me take a moment to explain. Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread (more like cake really) made from a sourdough starter that is shared in a manner similar to a chain letter. The starter is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads and shared with friends.

One day you’ll receive a starter and you’ll get sucked into the task of baking bread every 10 days. Luckily the starter can be frozen if you need some reprieve from the cycle. As you can guess, I received a starter from a friend and have been sucked into the chain.

My plan is keep my starter going the entire year and offer you a different recipe for Amish Friendship Bread each month. A quick look online reveals that the starter can be used to bake everything from bread and muffins to brownies and biscuits.

To get us started, I baked the traditional cinnamon bread recipe which is the most basic and frequently used. The sweet, cake-like cinnamon bread is a simple, stirred yeast bread that includes a substantial amount of sugar and vegetable oil. It has the characteristics of both pound cake and coffee cake. My recipe below includes what to do on days one through ten in case you get a starter from a friend.

Amish Cinnamon Bread
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Directions and Ingredients
Day 1:
Do nothing with the starter.

Days 2-5:
Stir with a wooden spoon.

Day 6:
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden spoon.

Days 7-9:
Stir with a wooden spoon.

Day 10:
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic containers. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends. To the balance (a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

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Heather’s Helpful Hints
As I mentioned earlier, it’s perfectly acceptable to freeze a batch of your starter to use at a later date. The first day you take the bread out of the freezer then becomes day 1 in the cycle.