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A few years ago when I was working outside the home, something called Amish Friendship Bread was making the rounds. Someone would bring this really wonderful quick bread to the office for everyone to taste and then hand out bags of this gooey mixture called a starter with instructions for the bread.
Well, being eager to try this bread I managed to snag a bag of starter with directions on what to do with it. Looking at the directions I was a little disappointed. It took ten days before the starter was ready to use. Oh well, I set in on the counter and followed the instructions… Kneading, doing nothing, adding more ingredients over the ten day period.
Finally it was baking day. I separated the starter into bags to give away and then began mixing the bread batter. Such an easy bread to assemble. Basically you dump it all together, mix it up and pour it in the pans. Soon my house filled with a wonderful aroma of vanilla and cinnamon.
So began my obsession with Amish Friendship Bread. I have seen many variations of the recipe in the last few years. But by and by I always come back to this one. This sweet cake-like bread is a wonderful addition to a breakfast, brunch or ladies luncheon.
Amish Friendship Bread
If you do not have a starter, prepare one. In a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, mix ½ cup flour. ½ cup sugar and 1/3 cup milk.
Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing. Do not refrigerate the bag. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment. As air develops in the bag, it must be let out.
Day 1: Do nothing
Day 2 -5: Knead the bag
Day 6: Add to the batter, 1-cup flour, 1-cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
Day 7 -9: Knead the bag
Day 10: baking Day.
Combine in a large mixing bowl 1-cup of flour, 1-cup sugar and 1 cup milk and the batter from the bag. Stir thoroughly and pour off 4 1-cup starters into large resealable plastic bags. Keep one starter for yourself and give the other 3 away with instructions. To the remaining batter add these ingredients and mix well:
1 cup oil
½ cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 large box vanilla instant pudding
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
1 cups flour
Pour into 2 large greased and sugared loaf pans. Use additional and cinnamon not listed above to sugar pans and to sprinkle over the top of the poured batter.
Bake at 325 for 50-55 minutes and remove from pans. Experiment with different flavors of pudding. Chocolate is good as well as coconut.