Monday, May 21, 2012

Amish Friendship Bread

It's the end of a school year and time to take my Amish Friendship Bread starter out of the freezer and be sure that it's viable.  This sweet bread is a staple in our home; versatile, delicious, fun to make and perfect for get togethers, meetings, and gifts!

Typically introduction to Amish Friendship Bread is made by a friend who will approach you with a ziplock starter bag and a typed sheet of instructions.  I've posted requests for starter bags on line, but recently I've found that it's very easy to start your own batch of bread from scratch.

Here's how:

Amish Friendship Bread Starter
1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp or 1 TBSP)
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk

Dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.
In a 2 qt glass, plastic or ceramic container mix flour and sugar thoroughly.
Slowly add milk and yeast mixture.
Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.
This is your starter. Day 1.
Transfer to a one-gallon Ziplock Freezer Bag.

*  Do NOT refrigerate
*  Do NOT use metal bowls or implements - use plastic, glass, wood or ceramic.
*  Release gas from bag as the starter ferments

DAY 1:
You receive (make) your starter - DO NOTHING

DAY 2:
Squish Bag periodically

DAY 3:
Squish Bag 

DAY 4:
Squish Bag

DAY 5:
Squish Bag

DAY 6:
Add to bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Squish

DAY 7:
Squish bag

DAY 8:
Squish Bag

DAY 9:
Squish Bag

DAY 10:

*  Pour entire contents into a NON-METAL bowl
*  Add: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk 
* Mix with NON-METAL utensil. 
*  Measure out 1 cup starter into three separate bags - 1 to keep and two to give away with instructions.

Instead of giving away starter bags I bake three batches and keep a starter for another time.

* Preheat oven to 325 degrees
* To the remaining  starter add:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 pkg powdered instant pudding mix - any flavor

Add dry ingredients to wet

Pour into (2) greased floured bread pans, or 1 bundt pan or 2 muffin tins.
Bake 1 hour

This is a very versatile bread - here are some flavor options:
* Chocolate pudding mix and 1 cup chocolate chips
* Vanilla pudding mix and 1 cup craisins
* 1 cup raisins and 1 diced apple
* Butterscotch pudding mix and 1 cup butterscotch chips
* Lemon pudding mix and 1/4 cup poppy seeds
* Banana Cream pudding mix and chopped nuts
* Cheesecake pudding mix, white choc chips, macadamia nuts
* Dates
* Walnuts or pecans
* Cranberries 
* M&M's
* Coconut
* Pineapple
* Blueberries
Obviously you can use your creative imagination! 
Keep this recipe on hand - the holidays will be here before you know it!

Note: starter can be placed in the freezer for another time.