Saturday, September 22, 2012

Amish Bread Starter

After reading the Friendship Bread book, I have been wanting to make Amish Friendship bread starter to get started in the process.  I found the starter recipe here which was a post from the book!  All of the instructions are found here on how to take care of the starter for the 10 days and how to make a yummy batch of bread.  My mom brought me some yeast when she came to visit and since it wasn't the yeast for the bread maker, I decided that it was fate that I make the starter (and then of course gift some back to my mom... my mom said that she would prefer a baked loaf of bread so that she doesn't have to do the work.  I laughed!!).

I finally got around to making it!!  I pulled out the flour and sugar and mixed 1 cup of each in the plastic bowl.  Make sure you don't use a metal bowl to mix the ingredients because it interacts with the yeast.

Then I measured the 1/4 of warm water and checked the level before adding the package of yeast.

Then I had all the ingredients waiting for the next step.  The purple bowl with the sugar and flour mixed.  The yeast with water on the left.  The 1 cup of milk on the right waiting the 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.

I mixed all the ingredients together and then covered the bowl with the lid without sealing it. 

By a few hours later, it was already foamed up to this frothy mixture.  It almost looks like bread already.

I have to mix it daily to make sure that everything is still working.  Then on the sixth day, I had to add 1 c flour, sugar and milk.  I have to wait until day 10 to make my first loaf of bread.  I will do another post with the bread and the recipe that I finally decide on!!  If you are local, please let me know if you want me to drop off some starter (and if you don't, you might want to pretend you aren't home).

Amish Friendship Bread


1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° F/45° C)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup milk

  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. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions for Amish Friendship Bread.
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.

To Pass on to Friends

NOTE: Do not refrigerate starter. It is normal for the batter to rise and ferment. If air gets in the bag, let it out.

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 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cup milk.
  3. Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 4 1-gallon Ziploc bags.
  4. Keep one of the bags for yourself, and give the other bags to 3 friends along with the recipe.
REMEMBER: Should this recipe not be passed onto a friend on the first day, make sure to tell them which day it is when you present it to them.

Basic Bread Baking Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. To the remaining batter in a bowl add the following:
a. 3 eggs
b. 1 cup oil
c. 1/2 cup milk
d. 1 cup sugar
e. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
f. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
g. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
h. 1/2 teaspoon salt
i. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
j. 2 cups flour
k. 1-2 boxes instant pudding (any flavor)
i. Optional: 1 cup nuts and 1 cup raisins
3. Grease 2 large loaf pans
a. In a bowl mix an additional 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
b. Dust the greased pans with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
4. Pour the batter evenly into the pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.
5. 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.

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