While I was in Ohio I was given a start of Amish Friendship bread. The Friendship bread is a sourdough bread and requires some time to ferment before it can be made up. This bread has to be worked for ten days and then you can make the bread. The starter also makes enough batter to give away to several people, and it is fun when you can give a start and then get one in return ten days later. One completed stater ideally makes two loaves of bread for you and enough starter to give give three starts away.. or two and you kept one for yourself. But I found people were more interested in the finished bread then working a starter on their own. So after a few rounds of making six loaves of bread I finally made it all up and called it quits.
Now that I am back in Texas I wanted to make some up and share with my neighbor. We both make home made bread. I use a bread machine but she does a sourdough. I was given a loaf of her sourdough warm from the oven and wanted to give her something in return. Since the Amish Friendship Bread is incredibly delicious I created a starter and worked it for ten days. At the end I gave her and her husband got two loaves of bread and a starter with directions. The rest I made up and took to work. The bread was very popular and I had many requests to make it again.
For those wanting to make this delicious bread you either need some one to give you a starter or create your own. To create your own starter you will need a one gallon Ziploc bag. Into the bag you will add 1 cup of oil, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup slightly warmed milk and 1 package yeast.. or 2 tsp of you have the jar. Squeeze the bag to mix everything together and set it some where you will see it and work everyday. I put mine next to the fridge on the counter. This is DAY 1. For the next ten days you will work the starter as follows:
- DAY 2 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 3 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 4 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 5 – Add once cup each Milk, Sugar and Flour
- DAY 6 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 7 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 8 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 9 – Squeeze the Bag
- DAY 10 – Add once cup each Milk, Sugar and Flour
The batter is now ready for use. You should have four cups of batter. Each recipe takes once cup of starter and you need one cup of starter to carry on for the next ten days. If you have people interested in working the starter for ten days and making the bread you will add one cup of the starter to a gallon Ziploc bag and give them the bag and printed instructions for making the bread.
To make up the Friendship Bread you will need two loaf pans for each recipe. I got so I bought and used the foil ones as I gave away a lot of bread and it makes for easy clean up if you are taking it to some event.. you also do not have to worry about getting your pans back. The bread comes easily out of the metal pans so you can make them up two at a time and just keep reusing a pair of metal pans as well.
Start by greasing the pans. I also like to sprinkle a Cinnamon and Sugar mix over the greased pans and tapping it around until all the grease is covered with the sugar mix.
- 1 Cup Starter
- 1 Cup Oil
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsps Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsps Cinnamon
- 1 Box Instant Pudding [5.1 oz]
- 1 Cup Raisins and/or Nuts .. Optional
Pudding.. this is what flavors your bread. I have made up Banana, Vanilla, Cheese Cake and Chocolate pudding and ALL are incredible. The Banana is the most popular and the Chocolate makes up like some super rich decadent Brownie. You can add chocolate chips as well as nuts to the Chocolate. The Vanilla and Cheese Cake also makes up well and is a nice sweet bread that is a favorite of many. When I was making up six loaves at a time I just made up three of different puddings to have a nice variety.
Basically you mix everything together and pour the batter into two greased and sugared pans. I mix everything together with a wooden spoon as the batter gets a little thick. Being a sugar nut I also sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix all over the top as well. I tap the pans on the counter a few times to settle everything and smooth out the top because of the thickness of the batter.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Do watch the bread towards the end as the top can burn rather fast. An inserted tooth pick should come out clean. Cool a bit to remove from a metal pan.