Friday, March 13, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

My dad brought home a bag of the smelly starter last week. After putting up with the smell of stale beer, letting out the air every day, and making sure my cat didn't eat the plastic bag, we've got Amish Friendship Bread! It tastes great. I'm actually really surprised by this! The only thing: it's probably worse for us than the fudge I made yesterday. Ah, the joys of making food and then giving it away. It's what keeps me sane! Too bad I don't have school tomorrow or I'd give it to people there. Luckily my mom has to work. Hope they enjoy it!

After I put the starter into 4 plastic bags I came upstairs to copy the directions. I decided to look online, because one thing bothers me. Actually multiple things. All the myth revolving around this bread is just annoying. No metal bowls or spoons? And since when did the Amish have instant pudding? They are the only ones with the starter recipe? I think not! I found it online easily. There is a great post at My Sister's Kitchen about these myths.

So instead of copying the set of directions I received with the starter, I made a new one. One that points out and debunks the myths. The recipe is incredibly versatile, too. People have tons of variations. I definitely plan to try some of them!

Got a starter? Here's what to do. Don't, but want one? It's easy to make!

Air will get in the bag; just let it out every day
It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble, and ferment
Ignore the bad smell of the starter, the bread tastes good!

Day 1: Do nothing
Days 2-5: Mush the bag
Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, & 1 cup milk, mush the bag
Days 7-9: Mush the bag
Day 10: Follow the instructions below

• Pour the contents of the bag into a bowl.
• Add 1½ cups flour, 1½ cups sugar, and 1 1/3 cups milk. Stir.
• Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 4 1-gallon bags. Keep a yeast starter for yourself (if you choose) and give the other 3 along with copies of this recipe to friends. Write today's date on each bag so your friends will know what to designate as Day 1.

• Preheat the oven to 325°.
• To the remaining yeast mixture in the bowl add the following:
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup oil
• ½ cup milk
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• ½ tsp. vanilla
• 1½ tsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• ½ tsp. salt
• 2 cups flour
• 1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
• Grease or oil 2 large loaf pans.
• Mix an additional ½ cup sugar and 1½ tsp. cinnamon. Dust the greased pan with half of this mixture.
• Pour the batter evenly into 2 pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top.
• Bake approximately 1 hour.
• Allow the loaves to cool (about 10 minutes) until they loosen easily from the pans.

I’ve decided to debunk some of the myths for you:
• You can use metal bowls and spoons
• You can miss days and just pick up where you left off
• The starter can be saved in the fridge for weeks, just pick up on the day you left off
• The starter can be frozen and saved for months
• You can change the recipe!! Make it chocolate, coconut, banana, lemon, whatever! BE CREATIVE! It’s very versatile. Just add, omit, or change certain parts
• You can cook it in whatever size pan you want. Just change the cook time
• The Amish are not the only ones with the starter. Simply put 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. milk, and 1 pack yeast in a bag and let it sit on the counter. Call that Day 1, and you’re good to go.
• It’s probably not even Amish. xD


  1. Look at you. Miss Baking and Research Goddess!

    Sometimes, I have to remind myself of your age. You are living, breathing, inspiring proof that wisdom and age don't always go hand in hand!

    Hugs! Thank you for your wise words :)

  2. "day 1: do nothing"


    I love these instructions!