I made the bread on a warm sunny day after a short hike near Emerald Bay in Tahoe. It's our yearly pilgrimage to nature and escape from the city. It's never been anything but relaxing and fantastic. I spent more time in the kitchen than normal (bread + dinner) but what else is there to do but sit around and read, or play cards, or ping pong in the yard? star gazing. Thankfully it was not so cold at night as it has been in the past. M took some amazing night photos off the pier.
I didn't plan the starter very well since I had to bring all of my ingredients on the trip, but I was making myself impatient waiting. Like I mentioned before, I made this once in college, and remember my mom making it when I was young. I imagine PTA moms were the culprits. (My mom was PTA president so she is considered "culprit" too.) Since I don't remember actually making it, I chose a recipe at random from the sea of recipes on the internet. The recipe listed below I found while going through some things in the attic at my mom's house. This was the recipe we used as kids and it is printed on pink cardstock. I think it is better than most of the recipes on the internet - though very similar. In order to save some trees, I'm not going to send printed instructions with the starter (if you are a sneak attack victim).
I only made one loaf. I had a lot of starter and ended up dividing it into 5 segments. I didn't realize it was ok to have more than the one cup you give everyone else. I also didn't have pudding mix. I think I'm going to try it again with one of the starter bags in my freezer. I thought the bread was pretty tasty. It was a bit dry since I cooked it too long. Purposefully though - it didn't look done on top so I sacrificed the bottom. It's easy to cut the bottom off a loaf of bread. I think the sweetness of the bread surprised M. Sourdough starter makes you think you will eat a loaf of sandwich bread. I'd like to try making yeasted waffles or pancakes with the starter. It may not work at all or be totally disgusting but fun to try. If you follow the instructions, it shouldn't be difficult at all to make two slightly tangy and sweet loaves. Let me know if you'd like to try. If you want to begin the starter on your own, follow the steps below.
It is very important to follow these rules with the starter:
Never use metal utensils or bowls. Always use wood, plastic or glass. Keep the starter on your countertop - never refrigerate. If you receive the starter in a plastic bag, transfer it to a glass bowl loosely covered with plastic wrap so that the bag doesn't pop.
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
In a 2 quart glass bowl, dissolve 1/4 C warm water (110-115˚) with one package yeast
Add 1 cup flour, 1 C sugar, and 1 C milk. Stir vigorously to break up the lumps. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and follow the instructions for days 1-10 below.
Amish Friendship Bread
Day 1 receive the starter
Day 2 Stir
Day 3 Stir
Day 4 Stir
Day 5 Add one cup each Flour, Sugar, Milk
Day 6 Stir
Day 7 Stir
Day 8 Stir
Day 9 Stir
Day 10 Add one cup each Flour, Sugar, Milk. Stir well. Divide the starter into three separate containers with one cup each and reserve the rest for yourself.
To make the bread on Day 10:
To the reserved started add:
1 C vegetable oil
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
In another bowl, combine:
2 C flour
1 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C chopped nuts (optional)
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease two loaf pans.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 1 hour. If bread doesn't spring back when lightly touched, reduce heat to 325˚F and continue baking 10-15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
You can also use different kinds of pudding, raisins or dried fruit, or peeled and chopped apples.