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Amish Friendship Bread

Recently, Micki brought home a small bag of "starter" and some instructions for something called "Amish Friendship Bread."  We weren't sure if we really wanted to make it or not, but we decided to give it a shot.  Man, were we ever glad that we did.  This is some seriously good stuff; more of a cake than a bread.

Now, the thing is, this stuff takes ten days to make.  You have to begin with a "starter."  And when you're done, you'll end up with four starters, which you can give to your friends.  So first, let's cover how to make the starter.  You must never let this mixture touch metal.  Use a plastic or glass bowl for mixing, and a plastic or wooden spoon for stirring.

Very nice when served hot, and served at room temperature it makes a great breakfast cake.

Starter Ingredients

  • ¼ ounce packet of active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup of warm water (around 110-115 degrees)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
Dissolve the yeast in the cup of warm water.  In a non-metallic bowl, mix the sugar, flour and milk together.  Use a wooden spoon.  Once well mixed, add the yeast mixture and stir.   Pour this mixture into a plastic one gallon zipper bag.

Now comes the ten days worth of preparation.  Follow the instructions below to the letter.  Throughout this process, your zipper bag will fill with air.  Let the air out of the bag on a regular basis.  You will also see the mixture bubbling frequently.  This is quite normal.
Day Activity
1 Make the starter as described above.  Or, if someone has given you a starter bag, do absolutely nothing with it.
2 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
3 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
4 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
5 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
6 Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk.  Stir this in by squeezing the bag.
7 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
8 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
9 Squeeze the bag several times and remove any air.
10 Pour your mixture into a large plastic mixing bowl.  Add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of milk.  Mix well.  You will now make four starters by pouring 1 cup of this mixture into 4 one-gallon zipper bags, 1 cup per bag.  Give these away along with a copy of the recipe.  Tell the recipient to start at day 1 on this list.
With the rest of the mixture, you will make two loaves of bread.  You will need two bread-size loaf pans.  Grease these well.  Follow the instructions below to make your bread.

Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Stir well.  Sprinkle this around your greased loaf pans.  Save some to put on top of your bread.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients with what was left of your starter batter.  Pour the mixture into the loaf pans.  Sprinkle the top of your loaves with the remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until done.
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