Friday, May 11, 2012

Sourdough and Friendship

A week ago a friend of mine gave me a starter for Amish Friendship Bread.  It has been a long time since I've had one and thought it would be fun to give it a try.  Then I remembered..Ooops!  I have to go gluten-free!  

So I thought, I'll try it out.  I added gluten free flours and almond milk instead of dairy.  I also used powdered sugar instead of regular.  When it came to the day to bake and divide starter I did some experimenting instead.  

I could have made Amish Friendship Bread, but I didn't.  I made German Chocolate Cake.  And then, I made sourdough bread in the bread machine AND I made German Chocolate cupcakes.  Almost gluten-free, almost dairy free and definitely egg free.  And it was all delicious...moist, rich and gooey.


Sourdough Bread

German Chocolate Cupcakes

I would show you the cake, but we ate it all!
  But here is how you get started:

If you don't know anyone with a sourdough starter you can make your own.  

Active Dry Yeast Method
  • 2 cups warm water, best if filtered without chlorine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour  (I used buckwheat and white rice.) or all-purpose if you aren't allergic

Put warm water into a glass or ceramic bowl.  Dissolve the sugar, then add the yeast.  Stir in the flour gradually.  Then pour into a gallon ziploc bag and let it sit on your counter.

Day 2-5 Mush the bag.  If it fills up with air, open and let it escape.  Then reseal.
Day 6 Add to the bag and mush:

      • 1 cup gluten-free flour
      • 1 cup powdered sugar
      • 1 cup of almond milk

    Day 7-9 mush the bag

      Day 10  Pour contents into a non-metal bowl.  Add:

      • 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour
      • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
      • 1 1/2 cups of almond milk 

        Measure out 1 cup of starter into a clean gallon ziploc bag for your new starter.  If you want you can give away 3 cups to 3 friends in their own bag or keep and bake like crazy

        Begin:  Turn on oven to 350 degrees.

        With the starter left in the bowl, you can make a German Chocolate Cake.  Add: 

          • 3/4 cup almond milk*
          • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
        1. In a separate bowl cream together 6 tablespoons of butter with 1 cup of powdered sugar.  
        2. Melt 3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate in microwavable bowl..  Blend into the sugar and butter mixture.
        3. Mix 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal* into 6 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl.  Let this sit while you measure the dry ingredients.
        4. Measure 1 3/4 cup of gluten-free flour*, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of cocoa.  Whisk well.
        5. Add the flax seed mixture* to the starter in bowl and mix.
        6. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the chocolate mixture until well incorporated.
        7. Butter and line 2 8'' round cake pans with parchment or wax paper.  Pour 1/2 of batter into each pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 40 minutes.  Test with toothpick at 25 minutes.  When toothpick comes out clean it is done.  If need to cook longer, do it in 5 minute extensions.
        8. Cool cake on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Carefully flip layers onto racks to cool completely.
      *For those who can have gluten, dairy and eggs you can substitute all purpose flour, milk and for the flax meal, 2 eggs .

        While the cake layers cool you can make the German Coconut frosting.

        • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
        • 1/2 cup cream of coconut ( You can find this in the mixed drink section of the grocery store.)
        • 1/2 cup of almond milk*
        • 1/3 cup of pecan bits
        • 1/2 cup of coconut
        • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch 
        1. Mix the cream of coconut and the almond milk together.  Set aside.
        2. You will need a 10-12'' skillet.  Set it on stove at medium heat.  Pour into it the granulated sugar.
        3. With a wooden spoon, stir the sugar continually.  It will begin to melt.  Keep stirring as it begins to caramelize.  You want the sugar to darken but not to burn.  When it is the color of amber, slowly pour in the almond milk-coconut cream mixture reserving 1 tablespoon.
        4. Stir continually over the heat while the caramelized sugar melts.  Let it start to boil.  
        5. Add the pecans and the coconut.  Boil gently without burning 1-3 minutes.  
        6. Stir the cornstarch into the remaining tablespoon of milk and coconut cream.  Add a little hot sugar mix, then pour cornstarch mixture into the hot sugar mix in pan.  Let boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
        7. Assemble the bottom layer of the cake on serving plate.  Drizzle part of the warm frosting over it.
        8. Add the top layer and drizzle the remaining frosting.  Let cool until set.
      *Substitute half and half or heavy cream if you are not lactose intolerant.

        Sourdough Bread for the Bread Machine

      • 1 1/2 cups of starter
      • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
      • 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
      • 1/3 cup of almond milk
      • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
      • 2 cups of gluten free flour
      • 1 cup of potato starch, Not potato flour
      • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
      • 1 tablespoon of sugar or stevia, which is what I used
      • 1 teaspoon salt 

      1. Mix the yeast into the starter.  Stir until well mixed.  Add the flax seed meal and stir.  Pour into the bread machine pan.
      2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together well.
      3. Pour into the starter mixture the milk, olive oil then carefully add the dry ingredients.
      4. Set bread machine for 2 lbs. whole wheat setting.
      5. As the machine kneads the dough, scrape down the sides of the pan.  Add more water if the dough seems stiff, a little at a time.  (Humidity with affect the dough.)
      6. Check bread when done baking to see if the middle is doughy.  If need to set loaf on shelf in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to bake after finished in bread maker.
      If you have starter left after making these recipes, you can save to bake with within the next 3 days.  Place in clean non-metal bowl on your counter covered with a clean cloth.

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