The past couple weeks I’ve had a hankering for Amish friendship bread. Judging from requests coming in, so have you.
Maybe it’s the short, frigid days of winter. A slab of warm, fragrant friendship bread with a cup of hot lemon tea…you get the idea. A fun project that’s meant to share. Read the recipe and see what I mean.
First make a fermented “sour dough” starter.
Ten day friendship bread starter
1/4 cup warm water 110-115 degrees
1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
Pinch of sugar to feed yeast
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
Pour the warm water into a bowl and sprinkle yeast over. Stir in pinch of sugar. Let stand until it dissolves and looks foamy, about 5 minutes or so.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour and sugar together.
Stir in the milk and then the yeast mixture.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until bubbly.
Then pour it into a gallon zippered plastic bag and seal. Do not refrigerate during fermentation. This counts as Day 1.
Day 2: Mash bag.
Day 3: Mash bag.
Day 4: Mash bag.
Day 5: Mash bag.
Day 6: Add 1 cup of flour, sugar and milk. Mash bag to mix well.
Day 7: Mash bag.
Day 8: Mash bag.
Day 9: Mash bag.
Day 10: Pour into bowl. Add 1/2 cup each flour, sugar and milk. Mix well.
Divide 1 cup portions of starter, placing each in separate sealed plastic bags.
Keep 2 cups for yourself if you want to continue keeping a starter or 1 if you’re only making bread. (The starter then goes back to Day 1). Give away rest with instructions.
Now you’re ready to make friendship bread!
Friendship bread #l
1 cup starter
2/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
Handful dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. if you want
To sprinkle in pans and/or on top of batter:
1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 325.
Beat starter, oil and eggs together. Whisk dry ingredients together and then mix with starter mixture.
Spray 2 loaf pans, 9×5.
If using cinnamon sugar mixture, coat bottom and sides, dumping out excess to sprinkle on top. (You can also make half of this amount and just sprinkle it on top).
Divide batter into pans. Sprinkle rest of cinnamon mixture on top if using.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pans.
Friendship bread #2, with pudding
This is sweeter. Mix in 2 small boxes of instant pudding to the batter.
Refrigerating or freezing starter
Refrigerate for a couple of days or freeze up to several months. Bring to room temperature before you do anything with it.
Can you use a bowl?
Yes, glass, ceramic or stainless steel. Stir with a wooden or stainless spoon.
Sealed bags look like balloons.
That’s fermentation. Let some air out, then reseal.