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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

Again, a little reminder about the BSI challenge with this week's ingredient of choice Bell Pepper. You've got until Sunday night to enter. (here) Let's see those recipes. ;-)


I remember Christo aka DoggyBloggy at ChezWhat? had made some a while back. I thought it was a neat. So when a couple of friends had offered to give me a starter of my own, I immediately said yes. For those who haven't heard of this, you can read the history of the here via wikipedia. It's really interesting. You basically receive a dated zip-lock bag full of liquid called "starter" from someone who has recently made it. Then for the next ten days, you have to mush and feed it. Mostly mush. It's a fermenting process for the yeast. Halfway through you feed it flour, sugar, milk and mush it some more. On the tenth day, you make bread as well as extra starter to keep for yourself and pass along with the instruction to three other people who you want to be friends with or keep it to yourself. Then again, that wouldn't be really friendly, now would it?

It's a fun concept. Kind of like "pay it forward". As tedious as the process sounds, it's definitely worth it. The taste of vanilla and cinnamon. The sweetness of it you can't resist. Yum, it's so good. I made a half loaf and 2 dozen mini muffins with the batch I had. I only baked it the other dayand the muffins are nearly gone.

If you don't know anyone with some starter, I found this really cool site that shows you how to make your own (here). But really, what fun would that be? It's best to get it from a friend or aquaintance. It's called "Friendship" bread for a reason. I had to do a little research as I can't really make this bread every week. Maybe once a month. I remember reading that this one person has had her starter for almost ten years and it's still going strong. I've also found out that you can also keep the starter in the freezer until you're ready to start again. It helps preserve it. So I've got myself a starter bag in the freezer. It'll take roughly 3 hours for it to defrost in room temp. Just make sure you take it out ten days prior to when you want to make the bread.

Amish Friendship Bread

These are instruction that come with your starter.

Do not use any type of metal bowls or spoons for mixing.
Do not refrigerate. If air gets in the bag, let it out. It is normal for the starter to raise, bubble and ferment.

Day 1 – Do nothing - this is the date that is on the bag – be sure the bag has been dated
Day 2 – Mush the bag
Day 3 – Mush the bag
Day 4 – Mush the bag
Day 5 – Mush the bag
Day 6 – Open the bag; add 1 cup each of flour, sugar & milk. Seal the bag. Mush the bag.
Day 7 – Mush the bag (let out excess air)
Day 8 – Mush the bag (let out excess air)
Day 9 – Mush the bag (let out excess air)
Day 10 – Mix and divide the starter as follows:

Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 c flour, 1 1/2 sugar and 1 1/2c milk. Mix well with wooden or plastic spoon. Measure out four 1 cup servings and pour each into a separate gallon zip-lock style bag. Date each bag. Keep one for yourself (if you want to do this again) and give the other three to friends along with the copy of this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 325F.

To the left over starter in the bowl add:
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 stick melted butter (not hot)
½ cup milk
1 c sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 large box or 2 small boxes of INSTANT vanilla pudding mix

Grease 2 loaf pans. In a small bow, mix 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust the bottom of the loaf pans with half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Pour batter into the pans and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 1 hour. Cool in pan until bread loosens… about 10 minutes. Turn out onto serving dish. Serve warm or cold.


Anonymous said...

I remember my grandma making this. I loved mushing the bag around :)

Anonymous said...

I am sure this is good cause there's a lot of cinnamon :). I love the whole idea of this friendship bread. Seems like fun!

Christo Gonzales said...

jenn is this not the most moist and tasty bread ever? I dont know if it was the process that made it so good or what but I enjoyed it so much...I could pop down a couple three of those muffins right now - what I noticed is they stayed moist even a couple days later....

Jen @ said...

I think my mom made this when I was younger.... yours looks delicious. And what a fun process!

tavolini said...

Neato--kind of like a sweet sourdough, huh? I like this idea, I like the bread, too. Bet it's good with coffee ;)

Vrinda said...

Nice bread recipe..lov the addition of vanilla pudding mix..

Tangled Noodle said...

My mother-in-law passed along her sourdough starter which I babied for over a year (in the fridge, though) making all sorts of delicious sourdough pancakes, breads, etc. (I had to give it away to a nice home when we moved 'cross country).

But this Friendship bread sounds delicious - what a great idea! But I may not wait for someone else to give it to me - I'll take the initiative and make some new friends! 8-)

Heather S-G said...

I haven't made this in years (haven't had a starter in years)...lovely reminder and lovely memories it brings back. Looks great!

Dewi said...

Hmmm, delicious cinnamon spiced loaf. I can imagine the sweet smelling of your house when you baked this loaf!

Admin said...

This bread is awesome. I had it for the first time during my first year in the US and thought it was the best thing ever.

Pam said...

How fun - your bread turned out lovely. I love all the cinnamon used.

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

What fun-and such a friendly bread!!

theUngourmet said...

I have heard of this but haven't made it. It look delicious!

In high school I made a sourdough starter and let it sit until it was ready and made my 1st loaf of bread. It weighed 5 lbs but it tasted good.

This bread reminds me of how balsamic is made.

Donna-FFW said...

You brought back some great memories, I remember making this in college with my girlfriends. We used to call it hangover bread for crissakes. It was delicious though!

Kelly said...

My mom used to make this when I was little and I can't eat it now without remembering her and the bread she made. :)

The Duo Dishes said...

That's a lot of work for bread. Of course you're a good friend if you do all of that! Love all the vanilla flavor in it.

chow and chatter said...

thats cool its tastes great and yeasty but it will grow and grow and grow he he

teresa said...

I've done this before, adn it's so good! Now I'm craving some again!

Jenn said...

eatingjourney: THe mushing part is fun.

Heavenly Housewife: It is.

doggy: It really moist. Definitely I've noticed even days. It's sooo good!!

Jen: Ya.

TavoLini: yeah. That's what I heard people describe it as.

Vrinda: It definitely adds to the flavors already in the mix.

Tangled Noodle: Go for it. =)

girlichef: I think the whole idea of it is pretty neat. Brings a connection with other people.

Elra: The smell was amazing! It was so tempting.

Leela: I'm definitely going to make this over and over and over.

Pam: Thanks.

Sweta: Friendly indeed.

the ungourmet: I would love to try and make sourdough one day.

Donna: Hangover Bread...I love it.

Kelly: awe. It's a great way to keep her memory.

Duo Dishes: Yes, I'm a good friend.

Chow and Chatter: I've already got 2 batches of starter ready to go.

Teresa: I just wish someone had given this to me sooner. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could try it! Sounds wonderful!

lisaiscooking said...

I keep hearing about this bread. Yours looks great! I like the muffins too.

Jackie said...

mmm cinnamon. Bravo to the bread expert!

pigpigscorner said...

What a fun bread! I've never heard of this actually. Interesting.

s. stockwell said...

This would be a great preoccupation for us!! waiting for a week to bake the bread? this would just make it so important. Everyone will line up? great idea. Thanks, s

Kristen said...

I got that started once and I thought it was such a neat idea - I tended it carefully, but no one wanted their own starter so the friendship part didn't work out, the bread was lovely though!

Jenn said...

5 Star Foodie: Hopefully you'll find someone with some starter or you can always make you own.

lisaiscooking: Thanks!

Jackie: ;-)

pigpigscorner: now you know just in case someone offers or asks about it.

s.stockwell: The wait is definitely worth it!

Kristen: That means more for you. hehe

Anonymous said...

oh! I've received this once before! unfortunately, I wasn't a very consistent feeder and musher :-(

Table Talk said...

I haven't had this bread in years, but remember it is delicious! My husband was really into making this...funny to see it back again.

Reeni said...

I've heard a lot about this bread. Never tried it. It sounds so good! And worth all that work.

Christina said...

I'm a little confused? You leave it on your counter with milk in it? Doesn't it go bad? And does that mean part of that woman's kit from 10 years ago has 10 year old milk in it?

It looks good, though! I'm just not sure if I'm understanding the process right, b/c that seems a little iffy to me!

Jenn said...

burpandslurp: LoL. It's just remembering to mushing it the only thing that gets people.

Talk Table: I think it's been around a while. Though not as widely known.

Reeni: It is.

Christina: Yes, it's left out on the counter because there's yeast in the starter, so it has to be left out to ferment. Kind of like sourdough. No, it doesn't have 10 year old milk because each time you make the bread, you get a whole new batch of starter due to the constant adding of flour sugar and milk. Also before baking you have to remove a few cups of the mix each time to have reserve some for the next batch. That's why it lasts so many years, it's a constant adding and removing process. Hopefully, I made some sense.

Rachel J said...

Thanks so much for this post! I nearly forgot doing this in middle school with my girlfriends in southeastern PA. My mom loved to bake and I hadn't jogged the memories of us making Amish friendship bread until reading this. Nostalgia-sigh. :)

Diana said...

Oh man, this stuff is dangerously good. I can eat practically a whole loaf in one sitting (and then get really, really sick).

Jenn said...

Sophie: Thanks!!

CaptnRachel: I'm glad it was able to bring back some fond mnemories!

Diana: LOL. I'm taking it slow with my loaf. Trying to make it last as long as I can.

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