Friday, May 22, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread



One day my friend and colleague, Kate, gave me a Ziploc bag with a creamy looking mixture and a xeroxed copy of Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Loaf.

A quick glance and all I saw was "Mush the bag" and "NO METAL." Kate told me she had gotten her bag of yeast starter from another friend who got it from another friend and so on and so forth. Who knows how long this starter has been circulating, through whose hands it has passed, and how many mouths it has fed? It's kind of cool to think we are all connected.



Once you get your bag, you follow the instructions and ten days later, you make your own bread and four more bags of starter to keep or give to your friends. You can freeze the bags of starter to save for a later date. Just let the starter defrost and watch for the bubbles to start again before you proceed with the recipe.

It's important to leave the bag out at room temperature so that the yeast can do its work. If for some reason, something goes awry or you want to make the bread and have no friends who have given you a bag, I include the recipe for starting an original starter batch.
My daughter Lizzy loved this light, moist and sweet bread. Every time I went into the kitchen I noticed the loaf got magically smaller, until *poof*, it was gone.






Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Loaf Recipe (from the xeroxed piece of paper I received with the starter)

Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing.
Do not refrigerate.
Batter will rise, bubble, and ferment ... burp as needed.

Day 1 - receive the starter and do nothing
Day 2 - Mush the bag.
Day 3 - Mush the bag.
Day 4 - Mush the bag.
Day 5 - Mush the bag.
Day 6 - Add to the bag 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk. Mush the bag.
Day 7 - Mush the bag.
Day 8 - Mush the bag.
Day 9 - Mush the bag.
Day 10 - Follow these instructions:

1. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl.
2. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups milk. Stir.
3. Measure one cup batter into four 1-gallon Ziploc bags and give to friends along with a copy of the recipe.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5. Add to the remaining batter:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 large box instant vanilla pudding (or any flavor)
1/2 tsp. salt

6. Grease 2 large loaf pans
7. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with 1/2 of this mixture.
8. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top.
9. Bake 1 hour. Cool the bread until it loosens evenly from the pan (about 10 minutes). Serve warm or cold. YUMMY!

If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days. The bread is very good and makes a great gift. Only the Amish know how to creat the starter, so if you give them all away, you will have to wait until someone gives you one back. ENJOY!!

NO METAL.

Here is an alternate bread recipe if you don't have instant pudding in the house, which I got from http://www.momswhothink.com/bread-recipes/amish-friendship-bread.html:

Remaining batter in the bowl (step #5 above)
2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).
Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.

Amish Friendship Bread StarterThis is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you’ll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread (above). It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal at all!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. 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.
3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.

For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.

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