Think you can’t make Amish Friendship Bread without waiting to be given a starter? You can! But don’t tell. It’s a secret recipe you know! It says so right on the paper that you pass on to your friends with the starter! Or is it??
When I was asked to guest post, I started racking my brain trying to decide what I wanted to do a post on. Amish Friendship Bread kept coming to mind, but I reminded myself that the only starter I had was frozen, in the bottom of the freezer under all of last year’s produce! There had to be an easier way. I started researching starters and found that most starters are made up of what you “feed” them with plus yeast. I did a little more research and found some measurements and decided to give it a try. It worked! Now you can make Amish Friendship Bread anytime you want without having that “secret” starter passed to you. I have no way of knowing for sure if this is exactly what the starter is that is supposed to be a “secret” but I do know that I get the same results….DELICIOUS BREAD!
With this starter, you will be baking bread every 10 days. It’s a very forgiving starter. I’ve baked a day ahead before or even up to 2 days late and it has worked just fine.
1 package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Dissolve yeast in water, let stand 10 minutes.
Combine sifted flour and sugar together. Mix well so flour will not be lumpy.
Slowly stir in milk and yeast mixture. Mix well.
Put starter in a gallon Ziploc bag. (Do not refrigerate.) Watch the starter very closely at first and let the air out of the bag as needed. It will bubble and ferment a lot the first day. This is Day 1. Mark the date on your Ziploc bag and now you just follow the directions as you would if you received the starter from a friend.
Day 2 through 4: Mush the bag once a day. Just pick it up and give it a few mushes.
Day 5: Add 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour (this is called feeding your starter).
Day 6 through 9: Mush your bag once a day again.
Day 10: Pour the contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Mix well. Remove 2 cups of this mixture for baking your bread.
The hard part is over. The starter is made. You have lots of it AND it’s time to bake!
You have some choices here as to what to do with the remaining starter after baking:
1. Keep 1 cup of starter for yourself to begin the 10 days process over again. Give the rest to friends. Just divide into 1 cup measurements and seal them in gallon Ziploc bags. Mark “Day 1” and date on each bag.
2. Keep the 1 cup of starter for yourself and use the rest for baking right now. Each recipe needs approximately 2 cups of starter and makes 2 loaves.
3. Use it all to bake and make up your starter again when you decide you want to make more bread. Just remember it takes 10 days from start to bake.
4. Freeze the starter and pile lots of stuff on top of it so you have to dig it out later when you want to make bread. Believe me, it’s easier just to make the starter!
I am using the original friendship bread recipe for this post. It’s my favorite but lemon comes in a VERY close second tied with banana nut. There are so many options with this bread!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
To the remaining 2 cups of starter, add:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups self-rising flour (see note below for using all-purpose flour)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 large box vanilla instant pudding (fat free and sugar free work well for this also)
1 cup raisins and/or nuts (optional)
1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract
If using all-purpose flour, add:
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Grease or butter 2 large loaf pans or you can also use a cake pan.
In a separate small bowl mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with 1/2 of mixture.
Pour the batter evenly into pans. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar mixture on top.
Bake for 1 hour.
Cool until bread loosens evenly from sides of the pan.
Slice and enjoy!
This bread freezes well and makes a wonderful gift for housewarming, holidays, etc.
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