I've heard about Amish Friendship Bread for years, but never had the opportunity to try it until now. Alex's aunt gave me a bag of starter at a family party and I was so excited. It's called Amish Friendship Bread because after you've fed the starter and taken care of it for a week, you divide it up into 4 more bags and pass it along to friends.
Taking care of, and feeding, the starter is quite simple. You mush the bag around for a few days, eventually dumping in some milk, flour and sugar. Then you mush it around for a few more days, and turn it into a lovely batter on day 10.
Now, to be fair, it is more similar to a cake than a bread - with a tender crumb, sweet flavor and cinnamon sugar toping. However, in keeping with tradition, I can call it bread if that makes the Amish happy. But, they probably aren't even reading this anyways...
I've typed out the whole recipe that I was given, but I made a few observances/changes along the way.
Cinnamon Amish Friendship Bread
Things to note:
- Do not use any type of metal utensil - bowl, spoon, or pan (I only had a metal loaf pan, and it didn't affect the cake in any way/shape/form.)
- Do not refrigerate
- If there is air in the bag at anytime, let it out
- It's normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment
Day 1: Do nothing! This is the day you're given the starter
Day 2: Mush the bag
Day 3: Mush
Day 4: Mush
Day 5: Mush
Day 6: Add to the bag:
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
Day 7: Mush the bag
Day 8: Mush
Day 9: Mush
Day 10: Pour the entire contents of the bag into a large non-metal bowl. Add to the bowl:
1.5 cup milk
1.5 cup flour
1.5 cup sugar (I cut back on this)
Mix well with a non-metal spoon. Label 4 large ziploc bags with "Day 1" and the date. Pour one cup of the mixture into each bag and give to your friends, along with these directions.
Preheat the oven to 350
Add the following and mix well by hand
1 cup oil (or applesauce for lower fat)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar (I cut back on this)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix
Optional: any nuts, dried fruit, etc. I added in KAF Cinnamon Chips because they are awesome.
1/2 cup sugar (could reduce easily)
1.5 tsp cinnamon
Grease bottom and sides of 1-2 loaf pans. (The original recipe called for 2 loaf pans, but I had just enough batter for one full one, and about 1/4 inch of a second. If you do 2 pans, fill each only halfway.)
Dust pan with cinnamon/sugar mixture, and tap out excess back into the bowl. Pour batter evenly into both pans, or into just one, and dust the top with extra cinn/sugar mixture. Bake for approx. 1 hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then carefully remove from a pan. Let it come to room temperature on a cooling rack.