I'm no food stylist or photographer, but take my word for it this is good stuff
I'm an average cook, but love to bake, and as far as I know, nobody has ever had to go to the emergency room after consuming any of my baked goods, which in itself, is a victory.
Recently, my brother-in-law, Bruce, gifted me with a "starter" batch of Amish Friendship Bread.
I have known Monica and Bruce for a long time now. I'm pretty sure I've received a "starter" batch of this bread at least once before, which I never saw through to the end....if I'd only known what I was missing.
So, I get this Ziploc bag full of goopy batter, along with instructions to make the bread.
It's a ten day process, which of course I thought was a crazy amount of time, but decided to give it a shot.
I got the batter last Saturday, and the ten days were finally up yesterday.
I waited until eleven o'clock last night to finish the bread (typical me), and since it takes an hour to bake, was up until 1:00 A.M.
I waited for it to cool, and helped myself to a slice.
My word, it was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.
Not exaggerating, honest.
After ten days, and a ton of steps, I was beginning to think there was no recipe, Amish or not, worth all those shenanigans.
I stand corrected.
Try it, you'll like it...unless you hate cinnamon....then you won't like it (this recipe has lots of cinnamon, though there are other versions of it here).
I found the "starter" recipe here, but am going to re-post it, so you'll have all the instructions, handily in one spot.
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
**Important: Do not use any type of metal bowl or spoon for mixing. Plastic or glass will have to do...a wooden spoon is okay too.**
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. 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.
3. 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 the starter according to the instructions below for Amish Friendship Bread.
Amish Friendship Bread
Again, no metal bowls or spoons for mixing and do not refrigerate.
It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment
Day 1: The day you make the "starter"
Day 2: Stir the batter
Day 3: Stir the batter
Day 4: Stir the batter
Day 5: Stir the batter
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk to the bowl, stir the batter.
Day 7: Stir the batter
Day 8: Stir the batter
Day9: Stir the batter
Day 10: Follow the instructions below.
1. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 cups milk to the batter, mix well.
2. Measure out four separate batters of 1 cup each into four one gallon Ziploc bags.
Keep a "starter" for yourself (if you want), and give the other three to friends, along with a copy of this recipe. If you don't pass the "starter" batter to friend on the first day, make sure to tell them which day the bag is on when they get it. Mark the bag with a start date, and make a note of the dates and the corresponding action.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
4. To the remaining batter add:
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup applesauce)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 large box vanilla pudding
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6. Pour the batter into the two pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top.
7. Bake for one hour. Cool until the bread loosens evenly from the pan (about ten minutes).
Turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or cold, and preferably with an icy glass of milk.
If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every ten days.
If not, just enjoy your bread, and hope that some sweet soul will gift you with the batter again someday.