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As I’m writing this post, I’m memory-listening to a little boy singing his favorite song from his favorite movie. Memory-listening, for those who don’t know, is a lot like when you get a song stuck in your head (now referred to as an earworm), but it’s a song you’ve heard in the past. In this case, it’s a little boy from my day care, about 2-3 years old, singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story. I’d hear him sing it over and over again. He’s rather grown up now and probably getting ready for his first car, but I hear a little boy’s voice singing.
I have been blessed with some amazing friends, and I am most thankful for this great gift. One of the best things about the gift of friendship is that it comes in so many shapes and sizes. I’m not referring to the shapes and sizes of the friends, but the kinds of friends. New friends. Old friends. Friends that are close by. Friends that live far far away. Work friends. Gym friends. Zumba friends. (YES, they get a special category!) Church friends. Neighbor friends. High School and College friends. Cooking and baking friends. Blogging friends that you’ve never met in person, but look forward to meeting someday friends. Random-stranger-that-you-met-at-the-wine-shop-and-have-been-hanging-out-together-since friends.
My point is that no matter how or when or where you met, friendship is a precious gift.
And every now and then a friend will gift me with the gift of friendship bread. Except it doesn’t look like bread. Actually, it looks more like a bag or tub of goo, or the science experiment from the back of their fridge.
Appropriate response, “Um, gee thanks”. (Insert big sincere looking smile that ends up looking like a grimace.)
It’s a starter that needs to be fed and stirred in the fridge or on the counter for about 2 weeks before you can divide it, then share and bake. I don’t know about you, but if I want to bake bread, I don’t think about it 2 weeks in advance. “Wow, I think I’d like to bake in a couple of weeks.” Nope! Nope! Nope! I can be patient for some things, but I’m an instant gratification kind of girl. If I want to bake, then I’m going to bake now!
This is an example of traditional friendship bread with daily instructions of what to do for 10-14 days.
So when this pin came across my radar, I was so ready to try the bread and make a new friend – or at least feed the ones I already have. Melissa at Redfly Creations showed this quick recipe for a short-cut cinnamon bread. Yes! I’m in.
Here are the ingredients. I had everything on hand.
First cream the butter, sugar and eggs.
I like to start creaming the butter and sugar, and then add the eggs.
Next, sour the milk (if you don’t have buttermilk) by mixing the lemon juice and milk.
Combine the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture.
Pour half of the batter into the baking pans, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, and repeat.
***A note here. Melissa says to pour into two bread pans, but doesn’t specify the size. Since she also mentions that muffin tins work well, I used one 5×9 bread pan and a half-dozen mini loaf pans.
Swirl with a knife…
Then bake for 45=50 minutes.
Your house will start to smell amazing!
Cool the breads a bit before removing from the pans.
Sadly, the large loaf had sunk in the middle. The mini loaves seemed to do rather well, though.
I left the large loaf to finish cooling in hopes that it would help the texture.
One of the sliced mini loaves was eaten with our Sunday brunch. We ate some of the larger loaf the next few days, but found the extreme denseness of the sunken middle too much. Oh the other hand, the remaining mini loaves were brought to work and devoured with many thumbs up. In this case I think the smaller sizes worked better.
Now, for the Pintesting results.
Overall Rating: 4.3 Pins
Accuracy: This was a delicious quick bread recipe. Unfortunately, the sinking in of the large loaf, which might be attributed to the lack of specific pan size, didn’t give us great results for half of the dough. Otherwise the texture of the smaller loaves was wonderful; moist with a nice crumb. I love cinnamon and the swirled cinnamon sugar. Done in the two layers, it really distributed the yumminess throughout the bread. I might have cut back a little of the cinnamon sugar, or maybe drizzled a bit of melted butter on the topmost layer to give it a more streusel-like topping and to keep it from baking dry. 4 Pins
Difficulty: The recipe was well written (except for the lack of loaf pan size), and the most difficult part was the process of dividing the batter and cinnamon sugar for the two layers of cinnamon-y goodness. 4 Pins
Time: The recipe calls for softened butter. Since I knew that I was going to make this on a Sunday morning, I put enough butter out before going to bed on Saturday night to soften properly. My own trick is to stick it into the microwave (NOT turning it on, just to keep it free from any kitties that might want some yummy butter) and close the door overnight. I’m not including the 8-hours of butter softening time. The actual prep and baking time was just under an hour, with another 20 minutes for cooling time. 4 Pins
Cost: There are no expensive ingredients on this recipes list. No special trips to the store – especially since Melisssa gave the alternative of soured milk for the buttermilk. (Good job!) 5 Pins
Practicality: I could see this as a great recipe for either muffins or mini loaves; perfect for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon snack. I especially like that the smaller sizes are perfect for freezing ahead and having on hand. 5 Pins