September 16, 2010

Chain Bread?

When I was a teen a group of my friends had a Notebook. I'm not sure why I am sharing this bit of information, but it seemed appropriate to link this idea to the title "chain letters". So the Notebook. It was a just a composition notebook (or series of notebooks) that we wrote notes in and passed around to our group of friends. I think there were close to 7 of us. Much better disguised as your english note pad rather than paper notes you folded into cute little origami shapes before passing. Oh, not that I passed notes during class or anything like that.... I found one recently while going through some items my mom wanted us to clear out of storage. Oh the topics we discussed. Not worth mentioning here, but they were completely relevant at the age of 13. 

Something I really hated about receiving chain letters was a last little line that appeared, demanding if you if you didn't copy the full page note, spin in circles with a feather on your head, and send it to 20 other friends, you were going to have bad luck for seven years. Or worse, bad luck with boys for Seven Years! Oh the mind of a thirteen year old. I'm sure there is no note passing today. These little teens are texting maniacs. Chain texts would be horrid but easier to send - all of those letter combinations make no sense to me. LOL!

I'm not really here to tell you about chain letters, but a similar phenomenon that happens with bread, Amish Friendship Bread to be exact (which has nothing to do with the Amish by the way). Friendship bread is kind of like a chain letter for baking. You begin with a portion of Starter that you either make yourself or someone has so graciously handed to you. Then you let it sit around for a while and stir, add some ingredients, stir, wait, and at the end your have quadrupled your starter. Finally, you give some starter to people you know and the whole cycle starts over again. Unless you STOP the cycle by tossing the extra starter in the freezer. I guarantee that you will not receive bad luck for freezing the starter.

I don't remember why I recently wanted the starter. The last time I participated in the Friendship Bread Chain, I was in college. I remember it being pretty fun, and a test of patience. And at the end, it produced a wonderfully cinnamon-y loaf. Or two I can't remember.... so, I've done it. I've made the starter and am going to send some to a lucky few. I'm going to log the starter's process in case you want to start the chain someday. And, if I'm lucky, some of you will actually make it the bread, and I will share the successes.

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