I first received this wonderful bread when Michael and I had only been married about three or four years. A dear lady in the church brought us a loaf one day. I loved it so much that I asked her for the recipe. She happily agreed, as she informed me that this bread uses a starter and told me how easy it was to make. She also told me that if I wasn’t going to make the bread for a while, I could freeze the starters. This was good news, because the recipe says it makes three large loaves of bread.
Here’s the deal, you use a one cup starter, stirring it once each day. On the fifth day you add flour, milk, and sugar to it and stir for two more days. Then let it rest for two days.
Day 10 is the baking day but first you add another cup of flour, milk, and sugar. Then before mixing up the batter, you remove three starters, one cup each. These starters can be given away to friends or even frozen.
So here’s the deal, although the recipe says it makes 3 large loaves ours doesn’t because my family doesn’t like the raisins added and only likes the nuts on occasion. As you can guess, this means there is less bulk in the batter reducing the number of loaves it produces.
Years ago, I shared this recipe (and a starter) with a friend. One Christmas she decided she wanted to make a double batch to give as gifts. She did the math and measurements and found that if you take out just one starter, you have two batches worth of starter left and could double the recipe, which is what we do every time.
I believe you could create your own starter by combining 1/3 cup each flour, milk, and sugar in a container, loosely covered, and leave it out on the counter for a couple of days.
Combine all the ingredients.
- 4 cups flour, divided
- 3 cups sugar, divided
- 2 cups milk, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 large box INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
- 1-2 cups nuts
- 1 cup raisins
- To use frozen starter or starting with 1/3 cup each milk, sugar, and flour:
- Take out of freezer (or sit new starter on counter, loosely covered) for 2 days, on 3rd day start counting as day 1.
- Day 1: Receive Starter
- Day 2: Stir
- Day 3: Stir
- Day 4: Stir
- Day 5: Place starter in larger container for room to rise and add 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk.
- Day 6: Stir
- Day 7: Stir
- Day 8: Do Nothing
- Day 9: Do Nothing
- DAY 10: Add 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk.
- Take 3 cups and put 1 cup in each of 3 small containers with lids; these are for your friends, yourself, to start again, or to freeze.
- To the remaining batter, add:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar and all the rest of the ingredients beginning with salt, listed above.
- Grease and flour pans. Pour batter into pans and bake at 325º. Muffins bake in 15-20 minutes and loaf pans bake in 45-60 minutes. Can wrap and freeze when nearly cool.
If you try this, let me know what you think, and how making your own starter worked out.
Until next time, God bless,