If you have ever received a bag of leavening batter starter from a friend along with instructions to either mush the bag or stir the batter for 10 days, then you are part of the Amish friendship bread experience. I got my batter from my friend and boss Liz Cheek who got hers from her daughter, I have a batch ready to give out and who knows who they will eventually pass along some of the starter to. Now after 10 days two of the folks who received our starter made batches of the bread last night and now a whole new round of bread and starters are making their way to more folks. (NOTE: Click on images for a larger view.)
If, however, you have never received such a batter gift, then it is your lucky day as I’ve got the recipe here and a link to make your own starter too!
Parts of the instructions tell you that if you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking this bread every 10 days. The bread is quite good as Liz gave me a sample before I got my starter bag, and it makes for a great gift too! Our first batch was a hit, Monique shared some at her work and passed along some starters there too. The instructions that I got state that only the Amish know how to create the “starter”, but a quick Internet search will result in a few of the starter recipes which includes yeast, and I’ve linked to one here that matches the similar ingredients of the batter in this recipe.
Here is the recipe and instructions as given to me with my starter batter:
DO NOT use any type of metal spoon or metal bowl for mixing.
DO NOT refrigerate the starter batter.
When air builds up in the bag, let it out. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.
Day 1 Do nothing – date the bag
Day 2 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 3 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 4 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 5 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 6 ADD to the batter: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup milk then mush the bag or stir well
Day 7 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 8 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 9 Mush the bag or stir the batter
Day 10 Follow the directions below for separating out the batter and baking two loves of bread.
|1 ½||Tsp||Baking powder|
|2||Boxes||Instant vanilla pudding|
- Grease 2 large loaf pans, mix an additional ½-cup sugar, and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Dust the loaf pans with half of the sugar mixture.
- Pour the batter evenly into the loaf pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture on top of the batter.
- Bake for one hour or until a toothpick test for doneness comes up dry. Cool on a wire rack until loaf loosens from the pan evenly, about 10 minutes.
Optional: Add 1 cup chopped nuts, 1 cup dried blueberries or 1 cup dried cranberries or a combination of all three to batter just before baking.