Amish Friendship Bread – Blessing or Curse?
Wikipedia: Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread or cake made from a sourdough starter that is often shared with family and friends.
Passing the Ziploc baggy to friends operates similar to the chain-letter as a pass a-along to three friends – often three insusceptible friends that you pick to drop off that Ziploc baggy too.
It starts off as a gooky unappetizing glob in a bag that you squeeze for ten days before baking – then you bake and enjoy scrumptious cake-like bread. Often you keep an extra bag for yourself and do it all over again – in another ten days – then you lose interest!
I have received starter a few times over the years – and yes it is work to keep up with, but the bread has always been very tasty. Just like Lucy’s famous words, “it’s so tasty too.”
The bag comes with love from your friend’s kitchen to yours, along with a paper of directions – as you need to know how to “feed” your starter and what to do – and on what day. There are many options for the final baking day.
I made my own starter and found my recipe at http://www.friendshipbreadkitchen.com/amish-friendship-bread-starter/
¼ cup warm water (110 degrees) I just guessed at the temps!
¼ oz. warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup warm milk (100 degrees)
3 1-gallon re-sealable Ziploc bags
In a glass measuring cup, add ¼ cup warm water, add yeast. Allow yeast to dissolve – takes about 10 minutes. Stir to combine and set aside. REMEMBER – USE NO METAL! Best to always use glass and a wooden spoon.
In a large non-metal bowl, combine sugar and flour with a whisk. Slowly add milk and then yeast – stir till combined.
Place ¾ cup of starter in each of the 3 bags – excess goes in the bag you keep. Give a copy of directions with each bag – write the date on the bag with Sharpie – this is Day 1.
January 18 – Day 1
I mixed it altogether per instructions; hope this starter works using the yeast, as I’ve never made it before. I found the second recipe for a starter with no yeast, but it took 17 days to start vs this one using yeast – only taking 10 days. So in nine more days and after baking, I will know the results. If it doesn’t work, then I will try the other one.
January 27, 2015 – Day 10!
Yay “baking day” finally arrived! The starter worked, I could smell the fermented yeast when I opened the bag.
Decisions – Decisions, what flavor bread should I make? I decided to go with the classic cinnamon for two loaves and as I had an extra bag, I made two more loaves – using a chocolate chip recipe variation. For the chocolate one, I omitted the vanilla in the recipe, added 1 large box instant chocolate pudding, and 3 tablespoons of cocoa. It suggested to leave out the cinnamon, but I added about 1 teaspoon – cinnamon adds flavor to the chocolate. I found that the dusting of the cinnamon and sugar in the pan gave the outside a very crusty edge – think I would leave off the sugar dusting on my next one.
More variations on your bread choices can be found at http://www.armchair.com/recipe/bake002.html – so many that you could bake a different one every day of the month!
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© 2015, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved