AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD

Right at this very moment, I’m quite sure there are a few of you holding your breath. Did she just say “Amish Friendship Bread?” Some of you ran to your front door, locked it, pulled the shades, and have given your children strict orders “DO NOT ANSWER THE DOOR”. You’ve got zero time for the care, feeding, and baking of this “bread”. You’re convinced you’ll be blacklisted on your friend’s Facebook pages if you even think about trying to “share” some starter.

“Amish friendship bread has been around for decades”, according to the now-deceased New York Times columnist, and definitely Old Order Amish, Mrs. Elizabeth Coblentz. Back in Wisconsin, I personally knew of this bread as “Herman Bread”.

Whether you know the bread as “Herman Bread” or “Amish Friendship Bread” this yeasty quick bread starter craze began in the ’80s and has been on the “rise” ever since. Gracing the table of many a sick person, new neighbor, or as a friendly gift, this yeasty quick bread is worth the time.

What is this?

Basically, Amish or Herman bread is a sourdough starter. You can make your own starter by using the quick method of a packet of yeast, some water, flour, sugar, and milk. Or you can grow your own starter with “wild yeast. By the way, growing your own starter sounds “way” dangerous and exciting than the cheating method.

Just think of the bragging rights you’ll have! It’s the quintessential “in your face” homemaker slam dunk. I’m of the mind you can’t “have it all” but what you can have, “toot your horn”.

Cheating “Starter” Recipe

Image by Thomas Bock from Pixabay
Ingredients
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
Directions
  • IMPORTANT! DO NOT USE ANY METAL BOWLS or UTENSILS for making, keeping of this bread.
  • Take the packet of yeast and dissolve it into 1/4 cup warm water in a small glass bowl. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Next, you’ll need a 4-quart glass mixing bowl in which you will combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Take a whisk and intermix the flour and sugar well.
  • Taking your 1 cup milk, slowly pour that into the flour/sugar mixture as well as adding the yeast mixture. DO NOT over mix. Just enough so that the ingredients are wet- like a muffin recipe.
  • Loosely cover the mixture and let it set in on your counter, OUT OF DIRECT SUNSHINE, at room temperature- until it becomes bubbly.
  • You can either leave it loosely covered in the glass bowl, OR you can place it in a zip-locking bag. I recommend the zip-locking bag. The zip-locking bag allows you to mix the batter by mushing the bag in your hand. Plus you can involve your kids/grandchildren in “helping”- always a bonus! NOTE: The bag will fill with gas from the fermenting, so as the bag fills with gas simply open the bag and let the gas out.
Instructions for the 10 Day Amish Friendship Bread
Photo by Michele Bruxvoort

Day One: This is the day you made the starter OR received the bread starter. Enjoy gazing upon this yeasty lovely! You don’t do anything. Maybe snap a picture for Instagram or Facebook and let the world know you’re embarking on an adventure! Nothing says pressure like posting!
Day Two: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter.
Day Three: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter.
Day Four: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter.
Day Five: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter. Tomorrow you’ll have some work!
Day Six: Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup sugar in a glass bowl. Add this mixture to the bag of yeast starter.
Day Seven: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter.
Day Eight: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter.
Day Nine: Lovingly squeeze your bag to mix your starter. Phone three friends and tell them you’re going to be stopping over “Just to say ‘Hello’ ” sometime tomorrow. Have at least 2 back-up friends.
Day Ten: Combine in a large glass bowl: yeast starter mixture, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup sugar. Stir and put 1 cup of yeast starter mixture in four-gallon-sized bags. Keep one for yourself and give this recipe and one starter bag to three friends.

Friends, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Tune in next week for some delicious recipes on what to do with your yeast starter mixture. Until then, lovingly squeeze your starter mix. As always, here is to good food, good friends, and n adventure-filled life of goodness.

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