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Amish Friendship Bread-- Omit Pudding?

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Hi there,
I was just given a starter for this bread. The recipe calls for a box of instant pudding. Do you think I can omit it with no major problems? This is a recipe that seems like it should be made with things one usually has on-hand-- for me, instant pudding isn't usually one of them (I do have cook-and-serve-- would that work?). Thanks!

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  1. Not sure, but I accidentally left out the oil and it still turned out just fine. Slightly rubbery, but much better than I thought it would be, honestly! I'd go ahead and experiment rather than making a special trip to the grocer if today is baking day. The bread isn't appreciably better than any number of quick coffee cake recipes I have, so I didn't feel bad about the prospect of throwing it away when I realized I'd omitted the oil. And as it turned out, we enjoyed the (slightly) healthier version anyway.

    1. This starter is just a flavoring agent for a quick bread. The recipe calls for baking powder of soda, right? This isn't a sourdough starter that serves as the key leavening agent. So you take clues from coffee cake recipes in any cookbook, or look up this bread on the web.

      paulj

      1. I used to do this (about 12 years ago) and the recipe I followed didn't have pudding. It was something like this one:

        http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Amish-Fr...

        5 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          I wonder how this recipe would taste if you substituted flour, sugar, and milk for the 1cup of starter (i.e. the same ingredients as the starter, but without the aging).
          paulj

          1. re: paulj

            The AFB that I am familiar with is a yeast raised sweet bread, so you would need to add some kind of yeast. 1 Tsp should be sufficient to start the fermentation process for 2 loaves of bread.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              But do you let the batter rise after mixing everything together? Do you kneed it? Is the 1c of 'starter' spongy when you add it to the batter? My suspicion is that the yeast in the starter adds a bit of sourness, but doesn't contribute much to the rising. The baking soda will react with the acid in the starter providing some rise; the baking powder provides the rest. Buttermilk, yogurt, or applesauce would work the same way.

              paulj

              1. re: paulj

                I would be willing to make it w/o the yeast, because even it goes bad, you have only lost $1.00 worth of ingredients.

                You should be able to remove the instant pudding as that on adds moisture, but you also need to remove the additional liquid required for the pudding.

            2. re: paulj

              It would probably be just quick bread, then. This is the starter:

              http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Amish-Fr...

          2. Omit the pudding and add smashed bananas, or applesauce. I also substituted white whole wheat flour, and added pecans and lots less sugar to the finished bread. I think to redo the starter though, you should stick to the white flour and sugar. It's basically a quick bread base, so be free to add goodies, dried cranberries, nuts, oatmeal. The base I got was yeast free. I don't know if the changes maintain it's Amish friendship bread status though.

            1. I have never been impressed with this friendship bread. I don't think I've ever baked a loaf of it from any starter I've been given. I know ... some friend.

              The previous posters are correct. It's not a sourdough starter by any stretch of the imagination. And I'm not sure it adds any appreciable dimension to the resulting quick bread that a nice buttermilk wouldn't. I've never figured out whether the pudding adds anything or not (vanilla? body? moistness?), and have never been able to sort out the flavors in loaves I've been served (usually shortly before I am presented with a bag of starter).

              1. I had been wandering the same thing about the need for pudding until I just made some without it because I ran out. If you've ever used a cake mix that called for pudding, you would understand. It does add a little flavoring but it mainly seems to add body and helps it keep its form when you're taking it out of the pan. It seems to crumble easier without it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kristaskitchen

                  I wonder if a couple of tablespoons of corn starch would do the same? Corn starch is the common thickener for home made puddings. The instant stuff probably is based on a variant of this starch that can thicken by just adding water (without heating).

                  paulj

                2. I used cook and serve, and it came out fine.

                  Other changes I made: used 1/2 WW, 1/2 white flour; added 1/2 c oatmeal; reduce oil to 2/3 c.
                  One loaf I made, that's all I did, but the 2nd, I used chocolate pudding, added coconut, chocolate chips, and mashed banana. Yum.