Thursday, December 27, 2012

Amish Friendship Bread

One of my closest friends here in Japan gave me this friendship bread.  I've never had it before and never heard of it before but the idea of it is really a cute idea.  You make a starter and it has to sit for 10 days.  You add something to it on day 5 and day 10 then you split it into 4 batches.  You keep one batch and then you remove 1 cup and place it into three separate containers that you then give to your friends with the instructions for them to keep the starter and eventually end with bread while they then do the same thing and give three of their friends a starter.  It think it has been a while since making bread here in my house so everyone was very excited.  It certainly didn't disappoint either.  It was really tasty.  It has the texture and density much like a banana bread but with cinnamon instead. The original recipe claims that you cannot use anything metal and must use plastic or wooden utensils and a plastic or glass container/bowl when making this so not sure how true it is but passing that tid bit on as well. 

Amish Friendship Bread Starter:

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.  In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.  Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.

For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions for Amish Friendship Bread below.

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Day 1 - receive the starter (the recipe for the starter is below)
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.
Day 6 - stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir

Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread. After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

(**optional) 1 cup nuts/1 cup of raisins

Using a wooden spoon beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nut. Grease a loaf pan with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.  Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick and if it comes out clean it is done.  Otherwise bake an additional 10-15 minutes until done.  If it starts getting too brown while cooking cover with aluminum foil and finish baking. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan. Makes 1 large loaf of Amish Friendship Bread.

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