Amish Friendship Bread

March 21st, 2008 - 1:02pm by Slye Fox

Someone gave me a bag of goop the other day with a set of instructions. "Um, thanks?" I thought at the time. But I was willing to give it a shot.


Amish Friendship Bread straight from the oven.

The bag was the starter mixture for a fermented bread called Amish Friendship Bread, something akin to sourdough.

The instructions indicated mushing up the bag each day for 10 days and then adding the rest of the ingredients before baking. Alrighty then -- I'll give it a go. I faithfully mushed my bag each day and added ingredients to quadruple the mixture half way through as indicated. Later research confirmed that you can skip this step if you don't want to end up with three more bags of starter at the end of the process.


The notorious bag of goop.

All mixed up and ready for the oven.

Each day that passed, the bag filled with carbon dioxide as the yeast fermented the sugar. I let out the air and mushed the bag. The strong aroma of bread/beer filled the air. On the 10th day, I gathered the ingredients and mixed up my dough. I ended up with two bags of starter that I put in the freezer. (I also learned from the internet that you can delay the making of another 10 day process by freezing it, just let it thaw for 3 hours and the game will continue.)

I didn't have bread pans, so I used a couple of small casserole dishes greased with butter. After baking, the results were surprisingly good. Quite cakey and more like banana bread than sourdough. Sid likes it too as I shared my crusts with him. I have to admit, I was more than a little leery of letting something with milk in it sit out on the shelf for a week fermenting, but the directions are easy and the bread makes itself. So be daring and give it a go.

Here's how to make your own:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread starter
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 bread pans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the Amish bread starter with oil, eggs, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

If you don't have the starter, no worries -- make your own. Directions can be found here. (The rumor is only the Amish can make it so you have to have a friend give it to you.)

Those sneaky Amish -- never sharing their secret recipes!