Amish Friendship Bread

It's the season of sharing and giving and baking and gaining weight (is that only me?)! With that being said, I wanted to share some amish friendship bread with you guys...just virtually though ;) If you are not a baker like me, then you have no idea what this is, but I am going to prep you with the details so you can decide for yourself if you want to take on this commitment. Trust me, this is the neediest bread I have ever encountered but I promise it's worth it in the end! 

Here's the skinny: Someone makes this bread, then divides the batter into a few bags, then passes it out to a few friends, then they mess with it for a week, then you have bread, then the cycle repeats. My story was a smidge different. Before I quickly tell you my story I want to reiterate that I am NOT a good baker. There, its been said. Let's move on. A friend gave me my ziplock batter bag. I followed the instructions...like I literally didn't commit to plans because I had to go home and take care of my bread. LOL. JK it's not THAT needy, I just used it as an excuse so I could hang at home. When day 10 came around (the day you actually make the bread) I failed at looking at the recipe and didn't have half of the ingredients it called for. So I substituted them. While that might be a great plan for someone who has more experience in this field, I had no idea what I was doing. My bread turned out terrible. 10 days of kneading. 10 days of waiting to eat this bread. And I had to start all over. This time, I prepped my house with all the ingredients and set out on my next 10 day adventure. Baking day arrives and I'm dispersing the batter into bags. Next thing I know, I'm screaming for my husband because I'm having ANOTHER amish bread emergency. We are now at 20 days of this madness. We got it worked out and the end result was worth the 20 days! 

Without further ado here is the recipe! 

Amish Friendship Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. In a 2-quart glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
  3. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
  4. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly.

Kitchen Notes

The starter should be left at room temperature. Drape loosely with dish towel or plastic wrap. Do not use metal utensils or bowls. If using a sealed Ziploc bag, be sure to let the air out if the bag gets too puffy.

Also, when you make a starter from scratch, you can sometimes end up with a much greater yield than 4 cups depending on the temperature of your kitchen and eagerness of your starter. If this happens, reserve one cup for baking and divide the remaining batter into Ziploc baggies of 1 cup each to freeze or share with friends.

For instructions on how to care for your Amish Friendship Bread starter for ten days, read below.

Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2: Mash the bag.
Day 3: Mash the bag.
Day 4: Mash the bag.
Day 5: Mash the bag.
Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Mash the bag.
Day 7: Mash the bag.
Day 8: Mash the bag.
Day 9: Mash the bag.
Day 10: Follow the directions below:

1. Pour the entire bag into a nonmetal bowl.
2. Add 1½ cup flour, 1½ cup sugar, 1½ cup milk.
3. Measure out equal portions of 1 cup each into 1-gallon Ziploc bags. Most people will end up with 4-7 portions depending on how active your starter has been, especially if you made your starter from scratch.
4. Keep one of the bags for yourself (or leave it in the mixing bowl if you plan to bake right away), and give the other bags to friends along with the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-2 small boxes instant pudding (any flavor)
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed.
  3. Grease two large loaf pans.
  4. Dust the greased pans with a mixture of ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into loaf or cake pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.
  6. Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  7. ENJOY!

Kitchen Notes

This recipe is very versatile! Use 1 or 2 boxes of pudding (pudding boosts flavor and moisture) and add up to 2 cups of dried fruit, nuts or baking chips of your choice (note: heavier add-ins may sink to the bottom). 

Looking to make it healthier? Swap out ½ cup of oil with ½ cup of applesauce or 1 egg with ¼ cup mashed banana.

*recipe from Friendship Bread Kitchen

lifestyleCadie Fletcher