Sunday, March 7, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread

What is the definition of friendship? .

Is it the person who is there for you through thick and thin ? Is it the person who drops everything to help you in a moment of great need.?

Friendship for me trancends a lot of boundaries , for me, it the little things that matter in a friendship . A true friendship means you do not have to explain yourself because your actions cement your intentions.

So, it was Girl Scout cookie pick up weekend recently and when I went to collect my cookies from the Cookie Mom ( thanks Julie) the house was awash with the most intoxicating aroma of deliciousness. It smelt like a wonderful cookie recipe had been executed , like a delicious sweet bread had invented . Needless to say - I had to ask what the delicious aroma was all about ?

When I was presented with two delicious looking loaf pans and a recipe that defies explanation - my quest for Amish Friendship bread was on . I am sure many of you have heard of the Amish . People who live a seemingly simple life of traditional roles within their society - as such I would expect them to be able to whip a wonderful bread recipe - at a moments notice .

 A few days after cookie pick up one of the troop leaders came by my house for soup pick up (thanks Kate) , and presented me with the "starter" baggie for the Amish friendship bread . A wonderful surprise and I was thrilled to be able to tackle this in earnest .


When you read this recipe you may think I have lost my mind , started to write gibberish or have invented a completely new language for recipe writing . I assure you , those amongst us with the gift of bread making will recognise the basics of this recipe . How we started a "starter" , continue to nourish the "starter" until it is time to give the "starter" a good feed before fostering it out to various friends .

Once you split the starter you will be left with a scant amount of starter in the bowl , and hesitate to think that you will even be able to make a bagel out of it . I assure you this thought crossed my mind and I even thought I had misread the recipe , I was pleasantly surprised , after following the recipe and adding all the essential ingredients two wonderful loaves were born .

Think of this as a chain letter for breadmaking without any of the dread . So , if you hear of a bread chain making the rounds in your community - tap into it , it is a lot of fun .

Now here is the kicker , there is no real recipe for this , when someone gives you the ziploc with the starter , you will also get the instructions on how to feed the starter and "mush the bag" , however I am going to write up the instruction that accompanied my baggie - breadmakers out there will be able to figure the starting point for the starter .

Amish Friendship Bread

Do not use any type of metal spoon or bown for mixing ( I do not know the reason why )

Do not refrigerate the bag of starter

If the bag expands , let the air out carefully . This is  perfectly normal process for the mixture to rise, bubble and ferment .

So you have received your bag of starter ............

Day 1 : do nothing
Day 2 : Mush the bag ..... ie, knead a little
Day 3: Mush the bag
Day 4: Mush the bag
Day 5: Mush the bag
Day 6: Add to the bag 1 1/2 cups of the following - flour, sugar and milk . Mix in the bag. Batter will have a lumpy appearance - that is ok !
Day 7 : Mush the bag
Day 8 : Mush the bag
Day 9 Mush the bag
Day 10: follow these instructions

- pour the contents into a non metal bowl
- add 1 1/2 cups of the following ingredients : flour, sugar and milk. Mix batter it will be lumpy.
- you will need 4 one gallon size ziploc bags . using a ceramic cup place one cup the batter in each baggie . mark the bagggie as day 1 and give the starter to friends along with the recipe .
- preheat the oven to 325F

- add the following ingredients to the remaining batter

           * 3 eggs
           * 1 large box instant vanilla pudding ( sugar free is ok)
           * 2 cups flour
           * 1 cup sugar
           * 1 cup canola oil ( or 1/2 cup apple sauce and 1/2 cup canola oil)
           *1/2 cup milk
           *2 tsp cinammon
           *1 1/2 tsp baking powder
           *1/2 tsp salt
           *1/2 tsp baking soda
           *1/2 tsp vanilla essence

- grease two parge loaf pans . Mix an additional 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp cinammon. Dust the pans with half the mixture .
- pour batter evenly into the two pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar/cinammon mixture on top.
- bake for 1 hour. Cool until the bread loosens from the sides .

Enjoy and very child friendly !!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Great friendship bread post, GG! We cross-posted it on our Facebook page to share with our friends: Have a great day! :-)