Amish Cinnamon Bread
Our goal: Make a quick version of this beloved “friendship bread” without losing any of its sweet flavor or knockout aroma.
Why This Recipe Works
Recipes for this sweet, cinnamony bread traditionally include two oddball ingredients: a sourdough starter shared among friends and vanilla pudding mix. Testing revealed that there was almost no flavor difference between breads baked with and without starter; the bread's decadent sweetness and substantial cinnamon flavor rendered any tang the starter was contributing undetectable. Rather than use packaged vanilla pudding mix, we increased the sugar and added extra vanilla extract. Stirring in a generous dose of vegetable oil resulted in a bread with a soft, moist crumb without a hint of gumminess. A cinnamon-sugar coating sprinkled into the pan and on top of the batter before baking gave the finished bread a crackly, sweet crust. Rather than sharing starter, we designed our recipe to make two loaves, so you'll have one to give to a friend.