Sunday, September 27, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

About a year ago a friend gave me the starter for Amish Friendship Bread. I followed the directions perfectly and got the most yummy bread. It is along the lines of banana bread or zucchini bread or maybe a coffee cake.

Unfortunately, making two loaves of this high calorie bread every 10 days gets old, quickly. It is also easy to run out of people to give the starter to. So, the last time I made it, about 6 months ago, I froze the starter instead of passing it out and making more bread.

Last Monday, a co-worker of mine asked me if I knew how to make the starter because she wanted to make the bread. That was when I remembered I had the starters in the freezer. I gave her one and decided to make one for the family. So, watch out. I have starter to give away!

Here is how to do it if you receive a starter from a friend:
*Note: Do not use metal utensils or metal bowls. Do not refrigerate the starter.

Day 1: This is the day you receive the starter. Do nothing to the batter on this day.

Day 2: Squish the bag thoroughly. (If the bag starts to blow up on any of the days, just let the air out.)

(See the bubbles? Those are good. You want those.)

Day 3: Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 4: Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 5: Guess what? Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to the bag. Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 7: Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 8: Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 9: Squish the bag thoroughly.
Day 10 (AKA baking day): Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk and squish it all up. Take out three cups of the starter out of the bag and put into individual gallon bags in one cup increments. In other words, put one cup of starter in each bag. You can give these bags away to people you know, or don't know. You can freeze* them and start them over at a later date.

It's over! You get to bake your bread today!

I found this new recipe for the starter and decided to try it. I decided to put some apples in the bread today because apples and fall go together.


2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup oil (you can substitute half the oil with some sort of fruit puree.)
1 tsp. vanilla

I also added in 2 tart apples (averaging one for each loaf), peeled, cored, and diced (you can also change the fruit or add no fruit at all).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Take the remaining starter and put it into a bowl.
2. Add all the wet ingredients to it, except the apples, and mix thoroughly.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. Fold in the apples
6. Grease 2 loaf pans and sprinkle the bottom and sides generously with cinnamon sugar.

(Can you see the cinnamon sugar on the side of the bread? Kind of?)

7. Divide batter equally, as best you can, between the pans.
8. Bake for 50 minutes or until done. (use a toothpick or a clean knife.)

*Variations: Try pumpkin puree with some raisins or carrots and raisins. Substitute half the white flour for whole wheat. Use brown sugar instead of white or half and half. This is a base recipe, play with it.

*About freezing: if you freeze your starter, it won't freeze solid. It stays mushy. When you take it out of the freezer, let it sit out for an hour or two to come to room temperature. At this point, you can either use it immediately to bake with or you can let this be day one and start the 10 day process over.

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