A Southern Grace: friendly apple bread

January 13, 2008

friendly apple bread


Rise and shine, Ebenezer--your services are needed once again!

Today, I called upon ol' Eb to help me make some apple bread. Technically, the name is Amish Friendship Bread because the original recipe uses an Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Ebenezer is similar to that starter (except that there's nothing friendly about him), so I was able to use him instead of hunting down some Amish folks and asking for some starter. (Ironically, it wouldn't be hard to find an Amish person to ask--they frequently ride their horse-drawn carriages up and down the main street in Canajoharie. But I digress.)

This is a typical quick bread, made special by the addition of apples and, of course, the sourdough starter. The instructions weren't entirely clear about feeding the starter, but since Eb was due for some eats, I went ahead and fed him his sugar-potato flake concoction last night. He grew so much that this morning he had oozed out of his jar!

Here are the players:

I combined the dry ingredients in one bowl...

...and mixed them:

I added the wet ingredients (minus the apples) to a separate bowl...

...and gave them a good whisking:

(I used a metal whisk--I hope Eb didn't mind too much...)

I poured the wet ingredients into a canyon in the dry ingredients and gave it a stir...

...and added the apples:

These are special apples, peeled, cut, and cooked by my grandpa. They are, if you will, a taste of home:

After a good mixing...

...I poured the batter evenly into my two loaf pans:

I made sure to stick to my personal credo--"leave no batter behind":

Those wasteful chefs on the Food Network could learn a thing or two from me. Hooligans, rapscallions, and ne'er-do-wells, the whole lot of 'em.

There I go, getting sidetracked again. The lovely loaves-to-be were then popped them into my preheated 350-degree oven.

I set the timer for 50 minutes...

...but halfway through...

...I rotated the pans.

When my unbelievably shrill timer went off...

...I gave the loaves the trusty toothpick test, and since they both passed with flying colors, they were taken away from the heat.

They aren't much to look at, but the smell, friends...the smell is amazing. I can't get enough cinnamon, and in my personal opinion, the best fruit-spice combination EVER is apples and cinnamon.

Ebenezer is very proud:

And he should be:

I cut 'em up and piled them onto my fancy new plate from the Christmas Tree Shop so I could share with my co-workers:


Apple Bread
(makes 2 9x5" loaves)

2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c Ebenezer
3 eggs
2/3 c vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 c cooked apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray down two 9x5" loaf pans. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Form a crater in the center and set aside.
In a separate bowl, drown Ebenezer in the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Finally, add apples and stir to combine. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to call the Food Networkers Vagabonds.