No one knows where this recipe originated, but it is believed to be as old as time. It might not even be Amish, and there are some rumors circulating that it was originally given only to enemies (cuz if you were a real friend, wouldn't just make the bread for your friend, instead of giving them 10 days worth of work to do?), but these are unconfirmed so lets just ignore them.
I forgot that I used to make this in college. I got a slightly different version of this recipe a couple of months ago from my visiting teacher, but I figure I will stick with my mom's, since for me it is the original, and it was always So Good. So here she is.
DAY 1: You receive the starter (fermented batter in a one-gallon size zip lock bag). Just write the date on the bag and place it on the kitchen counter. (Do not refrigerate. If you hate to have things left out on your counters, you could try putting it in a cupboard, but then you just MIGHT forget all about it, and end up with a dough monster in your kitchen. Just a warning.)
DAY 2 - 5 : Squeeze the bag several times. Let extra air out of the bag as needed.
DAY 6: Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar, and milk. Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 7 - 9: Squeeze the bag several times. Let extra air out of the bag as needed.
DAY 10: Bread Making Day!
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large NON-METALLIC bowl combine the batter with:
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon (don't use ANY metal when making this bread). Scoop one cup of batter each into 4 one gallon ziplock bags. Give these out as starters to your friends (or enemies, whichever you prefer) along with the recipe, if you feel like it. It is kind of a fun trick to give the starter without the recipe, cuz then your frenemies are like "What in the world am I supposed to do with this?" If you want more bread you should probably keep one for yourself!
To the remaining batter in the bowl (not much left at this point) add:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 t. baking soda
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 T. cinnamon
In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon. Sprinkle into 2 well greased loaf pans (or one bundt pan) and pour in batter. Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool until bread loosens from pan evenly. Then eat a loaf as fast as you can before someone else gets home and finds out that you made TWO loaves. Yum.
Mmmmm. I found this picture online. I don't have any fancy silver platters like that. But if I did, you can sure bet that I would be serving bread on it!
So, the important question at this point is: what happens if you don't have the starter? what can you do? Befriend some Amish? Wait patiently for your visiting teacher to find out you want one? Advertise for one on Craig's list? (that actually is a really good idea. I think I will, just to see if it works). i did a little research and it turns out you can buy the starter in powder form from ARMCHAIR WORLD. Yeah, i don't know what that is about.
And because I am your friend, and a friend to all things sweet, I searched and serched and found a starter recipe just for you.
All the recipes for the starter I found call for yeast, and I suspect that the authentic recipe didn't have any yeast in it, but what can i do about it? I am a slave to the information I find on online. I found this recipe on MomsWhoThink.com
Amish Friendship Bread StarterIt is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal at all!
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 starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.