Amish Friendship Bread

My husband received a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter from a coworker the other day. I have heard a lot of good things about this bread but have never made it before, so this will be my trial run and you are the first to witness it!

First off…what is a starter? A starter is an old-fashioned way for leavening bread dough. Flour, water and yeast are allowed to ferment for certain periods of time. This method takes longer but the outcome is unlike any other! So now that you have an idea of what a starter is, let’s make one!

Amish Friendship Bread Starter:
The easiest way to make it is in a gallon Ziploc bag. If you want to make it in a bowl instead, there are some things you should know first. When making the starter in a bowl only use a plastic or glass bowl and only use plastic or wooden utensils…NO METAL! Any metal will create a chemical reaction with the fermenting starter and will spoil it!

Ingredients:
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)

Directions:

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture until combined.
Pour into a one gallon sized plastic baggie (or a plastic container). The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.

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NOTE: Do not refrigerate starter. It is normal for the batter to rise and ferment. If the bag starts to puff up, let some of the air out.

Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2: Mash the bag.
Day 3: Mash the bag.
Day 4: Mash the bag.
Day 5: Mash the bag.
Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Mash the bag.
Day 7: Mash the bag.
Day 8: Mash the bag.
Day 9: Mash the bag.
Day 10: Follow the directions below:
Pour the entire bag into a nonmetal bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk.
Measure out 1 cup of batter into 4 separate 1-gallon Ziploc bags.
Keep one of the bags for yourself, and give the other bags to 3 friends along with the recipe.

Ok, so now that we have the starter let’s make some bread!

Ingredients:
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 large or 2 small boxes vanilla instant pudding

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F
In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed.
Grease two large loaf pans.
Dust the greased pans with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Pour the batter evenly into loaf or cake pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture on the top.

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Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens easily from the sides and a toothpick or knife blade inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

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Now sit back, relax and ENJOY the bread that took you 10 days to make! You will be so happy that you did!

If you have any questions about making Amish Friendship Bread you can refer to a website called:

Friendship Bread Kitchen

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