I’m very excited today to share a recipe using Amish Friendship Bread Starter! Darien over at Friendship Bread Kitchen (FBK) posted a request on Food Blogger Pro for new recipes using the Friendship Bread starter. Of course, I volunteered!
I think the hardest part of making friendship bread is the waiting. I started my bread 9 days ago and basically had to do nothing for 8 days! Oh, the agony! Seeing that lovely, bubbly, yeasty starter sitting on the counter and not being able to do anything other than mush it once a day is pure torture. Don’t laugh, you’ll be there soon.
Since this recipe will be shared during the 10 Days of Amish Friendship Bread Giveaway, which is taking place just before Christmas, I decided a recipe for fruit cake would be appropriate. Now I can hear everyone out there in blog-land cringing. Most of us think of those 10 pound door stops that pass themselves off for fruit cake. Are they edible? Well, that’s totally debatable. Like Lembas Bread from Lord of the Rings, “one small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man.” But probably not in the pleasant elfin way that fills you up but doesn’t weigh you down. Most traditional fruit cake is a heavy bomb that sits in the stomach for days to come.
I promise this bread will be nothing like that. Those of you who know Amish Friendship Bread, know how utterly delicious it is. Just the straight-up friendship bread recipe without any additions or modifications is a joy to
devour nibble with your morning coffee. I drew inspiration from several different recipes to create this recipe for a new type of fruit cake… I started with Alton Brown’s recipe for free range fruit cake, utilizing the dried fruit soaked in rum to re-hydrate. I don’t think anyone really finds that candied “fruit” usually used in fruitcake recipes very appetizing. Colorful, yes… appetizing, not-so-much. So we’ll just avoid using that all together, how’s that sound?
Add in a few spices to give it a good “holiday” flavor, some candied ginger, and I think we have a winning recipe!
I also pulled inspiration from the standard friendship bread recipe, of course. I wanted this to be a moist, sweet, spicy, fruity, cake that will be enjoyed for Christmases to come. And maybe, just maybe, enjoyed outside of the Christmas Season. Maybe it will be a family favorite, requested on birthdays in lieu of birthday cake, or on the 4th of July instead of that traditional Jell-O mold, or on Valentines day, to show them just how much you care… Ahhhh, the possibilities are truly endless in the future fruitcake loving world that we will create, together!
Well, OK, perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself. But I do think this recipe will be one you’ll want to keep on hand for occasions other than Christmas and Thanks Giving. I hope everyone will enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it!
- 1 C Amish Friendship Bread Starter
- 2 C AP Flour
- 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 3 Eggs
- ¾ C Brown Sugar
- ½ C Butter (1 stick)
- Juice of 1 Orange, ~1/4 Cup
- 1 C Rum, or enough to cover the dry fruit
- 1 C Dry Fruit - any mix. I used a mix consisting of blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins, goji berries and pumpkin seeds. We got this mix at Costco.
- ¾ C Apple Sauce
- ½ C Candied Ginger, chopped
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- Combine the dry fruit and rum and allow to sit for several hours.
- If you are short on time, microwave the fruit & rum for 1 minute and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Spray large loaf pan with non-stick spray
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to the line the bottom and two sides of the pan (like a sling for the bread)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder, set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, butter, oj, vanilla, apple sauce and ⅓ C of the rum from the dry fruit.
- Pour the FB Starter over the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add in the drained fruit and candied ginger, stir until just combined.
- Pour batter in loaf pan.
- Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean
- *Please remember I'm baking at 8,000 feet and I used a stoneware pan. You will need to adjust cooking time for elevation and the type of pan you are using.