About 10 days ago, I received a 1-gallon plastic ziplock bag of liquid "starter" and a recipe for Amish Friendship Bread.
Having never heard of such a thing, I found the process of making the bread very intriguing! Not unlike a chain letter, Amish Friendship Bread is passed around to friends. The sweet, cinnamon-flavored bread probably has no connection to the Amish people (typical recipes include a box of instant pudding!) According to Elizabeth Coblentz, a member of the Old Order Amish and the author of the syndicated column "The Amish Cook", true Amish Friendship Bread is "just sourdough bread that is passed around to the sick and needy". I'll admit, I'm not sick or needy, but I do appreciate a loaf of homemade bread!
Amish Friendship Bread
Important Note: Do not use metal spoons or equipment. Use only glazed ceramic or plastic bowls or containers.
1 cup live yeast starter
Do nothing with the starter.
Squeeze the plastic bag.
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze the bag.
Squeeze the bag.
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups and place 1 cup each into three separate plastic 1-gallon bags. Give one cup and a copy of this recipe to three friends (or keep one for yourself if you want to make more bread.) To the remaining batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 - (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts (optional)
Mix and pour into two well greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Enjoy and pass it on!
Image lifted from wikipedia.com