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Amish Friendship Bread

After all these years of loving Amish Friendship bread, I come to find out the Amish did not invent this recipe, it was more the Amish were associated with sharing sourdough bread with those in need. It seems to come in and out of popularity, I remember making it as a teenager in the 70's - I think it is time to bring it back. There is a debate of using instant pudding in the batter, I prefer it without to let the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg be the standout flavors.

The Starter:

Day 1

  • In a small bowl, dissolve 2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 package) in 1/4 cup warm water and let proof until it begins to get foamy

  • In a medium bowl (use only glass, ceramic or plastic) combine 1 cup each of flour, granulated sugar, and whole milk stir to combine and add the proofed yeast mixture

  • Stir and cover loosely and let stand at room temperature and allow to become bubbly, about an hour

  • Transfer the starter to a plastic bag (I keep mine in a clean bowl) and keep at room temperature

Day 2-5

  • Mash the bag to stir the starter

Day 6

  • Add to the bag 1 cup each of flour, granulated sugar and milk and mash to distribute, braking up any lumps

Day 7-9

  • Mash the bag to stir the starter

Day 10

  • Pour the contents into a non metal bowl

  • Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, granulated sugar and milk and stir

  • If the starter has small lumps of flour which are not dissolved, pass the starter through a strainer to remove them

  • Reserve 1 cup to bake today

  • Divide the remaining starter into 1 cup glass jars to share or store in the refrigerator for future baking. When you share the cup of starter, it can be used as Day 1 for a new batch of starter, or used to bake the bread

*Depending on how active your starter is you will have 4-6 cups of starter at this point.

8-ounce Ball jars are very handy.

The Starter - on my counter for 10 days

Amish Friendship Bread

Makes 2 loaves

1 cup Amish Friendship Bread starter

3 eggs

1 cup avocado oil

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar and set aside

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

  • Prepare two 5X9 loaf pans, coat them with butter and dust with cinnamon sugar

  • In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and whisk until very smooth

  • Divide the batter between the pans

  • Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the batter

  • Bake for about an hour or until they start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tester comes out clean

A few notes:

  • The starter will keep in the 8 ounce glass jars for about a week in the refrigerator

  • The quality of oil is important to this recipe as the flavors are delicate - avocado is best, but if you do use another vegetable oil, make sure it is very fresh

  • You can add 1 cup of nuts, raisins or chocolate chips

  • I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt, if you use regular salt, use only 1/2 teaspoon

  • The bread will keep at room temperature for about 4 days

  • I used Einkorn Flour in place of regular flour for both the starter and the bread with great results. Both work well.

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