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A better baker than a chef

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In what may be a cruel bit of irony, I love to bake. According to the person in charge of food at my job, I am a better baker than a chef because I like math. When you are cooking, you don’t have to follow any rules and you can add an subtract what you want (or so I am told…) but when you are baking there are RULES. Which I love.

A while back, a friend gave me an Amish Friendship Bread starter.

September 18, 2008 - diabetes365 - day 346
I know – not the prettiest picture!

Since then, about every 10 days I have a new baked good to share. I live around a bunch of college students, so I am never without people to share with and don’t usually eat any of it.

Today was one of the first times I actually sampled my product. Wow! I didn’t know what I was missing.

There is a basic recipe that my friends and I have been adding and subtracting from (there’s the math again!), and this particular version was banana chocolate chip. I made a medium size loaf and used the extra batter to make some mini muffins.

Here’s the recipe:
* I don’t know how you would actually ‘start’ the recipe since it uses a starter…

  • Day 1: Place on counter
  • Days 2-5: Squeeze bag several times during the day
  • Day 6: Add 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, and 1 c. milk. Squeeze the bag to mix.
  • Day 7-9: Squeeze bag several times during the day
  • Day 10: In a large non-metal bowl combine the batter with 1 c. self-rising flour, 1 c. sugar, and 1 c. milk. Mix with a wooden spoon. Put 1 c. of this starter batter into 4 one-gallon zip-lock bags (1 c./bag).

Preheat oven to 325.
Add to the remaining batter:

  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 c. self-rising flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 large box (2 small) vanilla instant pudding mix

(Optional)In a separate bowl mix 1 t. cinnamon and 2 T. sugar.
Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture into 2 loaf pans (or several small pans).

September 22, 2008 - diabetes365 - day 350
The batter for the chocolate bread variation from a few weeks back


Pour the batter evenly into the pans. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter. You can also use a tube or Bundt pan.

Bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden (not too dark).

*Do not use a metal spoon, mixer, or bowl
*Do not refrigerate—room temperature is good
*If air forms I the bag let it out; it is normal for the batter to bubble/ferment

For the banana chocolate chip version, I added about a cup of banana reduced the amount of oil and milk to account for the extra moisture. For the pudding mix, I used cheesecake flavored for a little extra kick. We have mostly been using the sugar-free, fat free pudding and it doesn’t seen to affect the recipe at all. I also cut back on the cinnamon if it is a particularly ‘sweet’ recipe and also don’t coat the pan for those variations.

My friends and I have also made gingerbread, pumpkin bread, lemon, poppyseed, carrot, etc. It is pretty fun to experiment!

Banana Chocolate Chip muffins


4 responses

  1. You and I definitely have this in common – I wrote a baking post today, too! (I’m a terrible cook. Can’t even make good oatmeal.) But baking? Pffft, all over it.

    Nice muffins. 🙂 They look awesome!

  2. Don’t cook or bake but I eat baked goods? Does that fit in there somewhere. 😉

    Those look so yummy. Maybe you can bring a batch to the Christmas Karaoke Reunion Party?


    1 pkg. active dry yeast
    1/4 c. warm water
    1 c. flour
    1 c. sugar
    1 c. warm milk (110 degrees)

    Making the starter:
    Day 1:
    Soften active dry yeast with 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes.
    Stir with a wooden spoon. In a non-metal bowl, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix, slowly adding 1 cup warm milk and the softened yeast. Cover loosely with clean cloth and leave at room temperature until bubbly. When mixture has lots of bubbles, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

    Days 2, 3, and 4:
    Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon (don’t use a metal spoon) until mixture is smooth. Do this once each day.

    Day 5:
    At this time, 2 cups of starter can be removed from the batch to bake Amish Friendship Bread or use in your own recipe which calls for starter.
    Replenish starter by stirring in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk; stir; allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate.

    Days 6, 7, 8, 9:
    Stir with wooden or plastic spoon until smooth. Do this once each day.

    Day 10:

  4. Hi Sara, love your site. I have a 13 yr old son with type 1 diabetes. He was dx when he was 8. So I know how difficult it is to deal with this disease. Here’s a site that gives you a program that you can download. I use it daily to help me figure out the carb count for homemade recipes. I hope this is useful, Lyn.

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