Here's the problem with Amish Friendship Bread: as soon as you make friends with this batter, it tells you what to do for the next 10 days. But like most friendships, all the hassle and mushy stuff turns out great in the end, so it's worth it. Relationships are give and take, people. And you'll be giving out this starter mix to everyone you know.
This is a sweet bread that takes 10 days to rise. Luckily, you won't do much on most of those days. First, you need to get some starter mix, which you must obtain from someone who has recently made the bread. Apparently the Amish are the only ones who know how to make the starter batter, but it's fairly obvious based on the smell and the chemistry happening inside your gallon plastic bag that there's yeast involved. I bet if Alton Brown were on the case he could figure it out...
- Do not refrigerate.
- Do not use any type of metal - spoon or bowl.
- If air gets in the bag, let it out.
- It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble, and ferment
Day 1: Do nothing. (This is the date on your starter bag.)
Day 2: Mush the bag.
Day 3: Mush the bag.
Day 4: Mush the bag.
Day 5: Mush the bag.
Day 6: Mush the bag.
Day 7: Add to the bag - 1 c flour, 1 c sugar, and 1 c milk. Then, of course, mush the bag.
Day 8: Mush the bag.
Day 9: Mush the bag.
Day 10: Actually bake bread!
- Pour entire contents of bag into large non-metal bowl.
- Add 1 1/2 c flour, 1 1/2 c sugar, and 1 1/2 c milk. mix well.
- Label 4 gallon zip-lock bags with 'Day 1' and the date.
- Fill each bag with one cup of the mixture.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- To the remaining batter, add:
- 3 eggs
- 1 c sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 c flour
- 1 large box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 c of oil (or 1/2 c oil and 1/2 c applesauce, for the health conscious)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 c milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Grease the bottom and sides of two large loaf pans.
- Mix 1/2c sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Dust the insides of the pans with half of this mixture.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pans and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar on top.
- Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans.